This year’s increase in road fatalities is down to lack of enforcement by Gardaí, a leading transport expert has said.
Over the weekend, a nine-year-old died in a hit-and-run incident in Donegal and a man in his 20s died in Kerry.
So far, 136 people have died on Irish roads this year - compared to 110 in the same period last year.
In response to the surging number of fatalities, Minister of State Jack Chambers has said the Government will reduce speed limits next year but Conor Faughnan has said there are other things that can be done in the meantime.
“There’s no great mystery to improving road safety in Ireland,” he told The Pat Kenny Show.
“We’ve done it before; there’s some fairly elementary and well understood things but you have to keep doing them.
“The single biggest one of those is enforcement - there’s just a shortage of Gardaí and that really does show up.”
Mr Faughnan compared road safety to “weeding a garden” because it simply never ends if it is to be effective.
“It should be commonplace to see flashing blue lights outside the pub car park at 11.30 - that should be an everyday sight in Ireland,” he said.
“In fact, has anybody out there ever seen it?
“Clearly, it’s much more constructive to be doing an alcohol checkpoint at two in the morning than on a Tuesday lunchtime when there’s people tootling around.”
Overall, Mr Faughnan feels that the issue has not received the political attention it deserves and the solution is simple.
“There indeed may be some new laws that are needed but I get very frustrated over the years that road safety gets neglected by Government,” he said.
“It falls away from Cabinet attention, it doesn’t get anybody looking at it and then there’s a crisis and the instinct is to dream up a new law.”
Earlier this month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the increase in fatalities was “not a blip” and he had spoken to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris about the enforcement of existing rules.
Main image: Flowers at a Garda checkpoint.