Gardaí call for drivers to stay safe as Bank Holiday kicks into gear

There has been a 25% increase in road deaths so far this year with nine deaths in the past week

Gardaí call for drivers to stay safe as Bank Holiday kicks into gear

Chief executive of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) Moyagh Murdock Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

There has been a 25% increase in the number of road deaths in Ireland this year - with nine fatal accidents in the last week alone.

Gardaí have called on drivers to be extra vigilant this bank holiday with the death toll on Irish roads now at 159 for the year so far.

Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said as the October Bank Holiday begins, we are facing into the “most high risk period of the year.”

“As the clocks go back, we are appealing to all drivers to watch out for vulnerable road users and we are asking vulnerable road users to watch out and be seen and wear their high visibility vests,” he said.

Over the past five years, six people have been killed and 33 people have been seriously injured during the October Bank Holiday Weekend.

With a tragic week on the roads resulting in nine deaths in the past seven days, Chief Superintendent Reid said the gardaí will be out in force over the weekend:

As the clocks go back and the evenings get darker, Gardaí are calling for vulnerable road user to "be safe and be seen" particularly on poorly-lit rural roads.

An RSA study conducted at the end of 2015 found that the prevalence of high visibility clothing amongst cyclists and motorcyclists is on the increase. 

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said the results are "very encouraging."

"It really is critical that road-users ensure they are visible to others on the road, every time they go out for a walk, cycle or on the bike," she said.

"Don’t leave it to chance or expect other road-users to see you - it might be too late before they do.

"For parents and guardians, if your child walks or cycles to school, make sure they can be seen by ensuring they wear reflective clothing and have working lights on their bicycle."

Ms Murdock said drivers are still taking far too many risks on the road:

Chief Inspector Reid said plans are in place for gardaí to continue monitoring road traffic offences if the planned Garda Representative Union strike goes ahead next week.

“People must comply with the law,” he said.

“We have mechanisms in place and we are encouraging anyone involved in the negotiation process at the moment to continue that process.

“We have arrangements in place at garda management level to maintain contact with the public and we are asking the public to comply with road safety and to comply with the law.”