An Garda Siochana has launched this year’s Christmas and New Year road safety appeal which focuses on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and the devastating loss of life and serious injuries it can cause.
To date, 148 people have lost their lives on Ireland’s roads. This is 25 more than on the same date in 2021. Some 1,125 collisions causing serious injury have also occurred.
Data compiled over the past twelve years indicates that the highest risk time for fatal or serious road traffic collisions during the Christmas period is between 12 noon and 9pm – with over half (55%) of incidents occurring within this timeframe. More specifically, 21% occurred during 3pm – 6pm.
The risk of a fatal or serious injury road traffic collision is highest on the Sunday of the Christmas period.
As evidence based enforcement activity, An Garda Síochána is targeting the four Lifesaver offences this Christmas:
(1) Intoxicated driving; (2) Speeding (3) Use of mobile phones (4) Seatbelt offences
There is a particular emphasis on the locations within Garda Divisions where analysis has shown a higher risk of fatal or serious injury road traffic collisions.
From January 1st 2022 to date:
• 156,560 drivers have been detected for travelling in excess of a speed limit
• 17, 567 drivers detected for the offence of using their mobile phone while driving
• 5,664 seatbelt offences were detected
• 7,605 people have been arrested on suspicion of drink/drug driving
In the first week of enforcement activity as part of this campaign (1st December 2022 – 7th December 2022) Gardaí have conducted 1,886 checkpoints nationwide.
• 144 people were arrested for Driving Under the influence, 35 of which were arrested on suspicion of Drug Driving
• 70 seatbelt offences were identified
• 216 offences for use of a mobile phone while driving
• 3,716 speeding offences
An Garda Síochána are also urging all road users to be safe this Christmas and New Year period, particularly during the current cold spell.
Inspector Ross O’Doherty of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said, “The Christmas period is one of the busiest on Ireland’s roads. Our operational activity over the past seven days indicates to us that drivers need to be much more mindful of the offences which so often lead to fatal or near fatal road traffic collisions”.
“The number of people that have already lost their lives on Irish roads this year is a cause for concern – Gardaí are out of duty everyday enforcing Road Traffic legislation in order to ensure that we do not lose any more lives. Motorists and all road users can help us reduce these stark statistics. Please be mindful of how easily collisions can happen”.
“We are urging all road users and motorists in particular to pay even greater attention to driving conditions over the coming day, as temperatures take a sharp dip and the roads become more difficult to navigate.”