86 people have died on our roads so far this year

The figure is 15% higher compared to the same date in 2015

86 people have died on our roads so far this year

File photo of a woman driving | Image: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Road deaths in Ireland have risen by 15% this year, according to new stats released by the Road Safety Authority.

A total of 86 people have died on our roads since the beginning of 2016. That figure is 11 deaths higher compared to the same date last year.

There has also been a 50% rise in deaths at weekends, which is a time often associated with drink driving.

The Gardaí and the RSA are now launching a major enforcement and education campaign for July and August to target drink driving behaviour, as those months are among the most dangerous in the year and present a high risk for driving under the influence.

The campaign comes as initial findings from a new report by the National Drug Related Death Index, which show that 32% of drivers who died in 2013 were drink driving.

The RSA also released a report in early June that showed alcohol was a factor in 38% of all fatal crashes.

An Garda Síochána will now be increasing their day to day enforcement activity between July and August to help reduce the numbers of deaths. They have also added seven national 24 hour drink driving operations for those months.

Superintendent Con O’Donohue with Garda National Traffic Bureau said that everyone has a responsibility to take urgent steps to reduce the amount of crashes on Irish roads.

"We are placing a particular emphasis on targeting drink driving late at night over weekends," he said.

"My colleagues around the country will put additional effort into targeting those counties that have a track record of drink driving related fatalities."

The top counties include Cork, Galway, Dublin, Donegal and Cavan.

"If you’re going to drink when you go out then the only safe option is to leave the car at home so that you won’t be tempted to get behind the wheel with alcohol on board," he added.

"I also appeal to people who see someone who has been drinking getting behind the wheel to drive a vehicle, to report it immediately to the Gardaí.

"Your positive actions could save a life."