Gardaí express concern at the death count on the country's roads this year

Gardaí have expressed concern at the death count on the country's roads to date this year, with the number of fatalities up 30% on the same period in 2018.

Gardaí express concern at the death count on the country's roads this year

Gardaí have expressed concern at the death count on the country's roads to date this year, with the number of fatalities up 30% on the same period in 2018.

The latest figures come as the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau has also revealed that 164 drivers were arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving across the country over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Four people were killed in accidents over the weekend. A five-car collision on the M6 just after junction 5 eastbound near Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath saw a man in his sixties lose his life, while two men were killed in a single car accident in Carlingford Co Louth in the early hours of last Monday.

Later that morning a motorcyclist in his forties died in a single vehicle accident at Whitestown Way Tallaght, Dublin.

The four deaths bring the total who have died so far this year to 39, up nine when compared to the same period last year - a trend that is of great concern to An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority and other road safety stakeholders.

Meanwhile, of the 164 drivers arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving over the weekend, 11 arrests were between 8am and 11am in the day, and 74 were on St. Patricks Day itself.

Figures previously released by Gardai showed that there has been a 17% increase in the number of arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in the first two months of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

There were 1,429 drivers arrested from January 1 to February 28.

Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau warned motorists that ‘mistakes cost lives'.

“Four people tragically lost their lives on the roads this bank holiday weekend. It has been four years since this number of people lost their lives,” Chief Supt Cleary said.

“Compared to this date last year, there are now nine more people who have died on Irish roads. This is very concerning. We must all re-double our efforts to act responsibly and keep the roads safe.

"I appeal to every road user to concentrate 100% no matter how they use the roads. Mistakes cost lives."

Chief Supt Cleary said gardaí widely advertised in advance that they would be out on the roads around the country conducting checkpoints during the bank holiday weekend.

My thanks go to all those who came through our checkpoints and were driving safely. There were, however, many drivers who were not compliant.

"There were 164 drivers arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving in the three-day period. 11 were the morning after, between 8am and 11am, 74 on St Patricks day itself.

"We will continue to target these irresponsible drivers who put themselves and all other road users at risk. We are committed to making the roads as safe as they should be,” Chief Supt Cleary said.

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