17 May 2022

Limerick gardai to mount 'full' road safety operation this Easter

Limerick gardai to mount 'full' road safety operation this Easter

Gardai and the Road Safety Authority are appealing to motorists to be careful over the bank holiday weekend | FILE PHOTO

MOTORISTS in Limerick and across the country are being urged to slow down when travelling over the bank holiday weekend, which is expected to be one the busiest weekends in more than two years.

In addition to those visiting family and friends, tens of thousands of people will the travelling to the Munster Rugby versus Exeter Chiefs Champions Cup match on Saturday and the Cork versus Limerick match in the Munster Hurling championship on Easter Sunday.

Ahead of the weekend, the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána have issued an urgent road safety appeal to all road users following a significant year-on-year increase in road fatalities.

Motorists are being urged to slow down, wear seatbelts, not to drive when impaired, or distracted or when tired. The use of mobile phones by drivers is a particular focus of the appeal.

Provisional figures show that 50 people have lost their lives on Irish roads to date this year compared to 27 up to the same date last year.

There have been five fatalities in the Limerick garda division and the head of the Roads Policing Unit in Limerick, Inspector Padraigh Sutton, has confirmed that a "full plan" will be in place locally across the bank holiday weekend.

Appealing to road users to be vigilant, Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority, said: "We have had an appalling start to the year on our roads with 50 lives lost. An average of 15 people have been killed each month on the road to date this year. If we continue on this path, we could end up losing 180 lives this year. Ireland in Danger of having the highest number of road fatalities in a decade. If we all act now and improve our behaviour on the road, collectively we can avoid this preventable loss of life.”

Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, added: "The increase in road deaths this year is deeply concerning. We must all take action to reverse this trend by taking greater care when using the road – especially over the high-risk Easter Bank Holiday period. As drivers, we have a responsibility to slow down, to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, never to use our phones or drive while tired, and always to ensure that everyone in our vehicle wears their seatbelt."

Assistant Garda Commissioner, Paula Hilman, says every road user needs to examine their behaviour to ensure they do not contribute to fatal and serious injury collisions.

"Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. It is expected that large numbers will be travelling on our roads this Easter period. Motorists should plan their journey and pay attention to other road users. We want everyone to stay safe and enjoy the holiday period. Remember that every decision you make on the road counts.”

Throughout the weekend, members of An Garda Síochána will focus on the detection of key lifesaver offences which include speeding, drink/drug driving, non-wearing of seat-belts and using a mobile phone while driving.

Mandatory Intoxicant Testing (MIT) checkpoints will be undertaken in Limerick and throughout the country as part of the Easter road safety operation.

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