EXTRA garda speed checks will be rolled out this month as part of a garda of road safety action month.
Last year saw a 4% increase in road traffic fatalities with 148 deaths on the road, up seven on the same period in 2018. Serious injury collisions were also up 1% at 1136.
Gardai are committed to reversing these trends for this year and their month-long campaign will include extra speed checks which will coincide with the rollout of two new types of speed detection devices.
The month of action will target all road traffic offences with particular emphasis on the enforcement of key lifesaver offences: the use of mobile phones while driving; not wearing seat belts; speeding; dangerous driving and driving when intoxicated.
Detections for seatbelt offences in 2019 showed an increase of 3% when compared with the number of detections made in 2018.
Driving while intoxicated detections for 2019 also showed an increase of 5% when compared with the number of detections for 2018. For the period from the 1st of January to the 30th January 2020 there were 741 arrests for Driving Under the Influence. Of these 489 were over the legal limit.
Some 170 of these arrests were for drug-driving offences. (with results pending on other cases).
Over the same period in 2019 there were 600 arrests for driving while intoxicated.
The Road Safety Authority found that in 867 fatal collisions examined, 38% involved a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian who had consumed alcohol.
In 2019 statistics show that one in 10 drivers were detected for incidents of Driving While Intoxicated the morning after the night before.
Cyclists are also recognised as being vulnerable road users and gardai say that every effort must be made to ensure that where cycle lanes have been made available, that they are accessible to the cyclist. A spokesperson said that garda members are aware of the new offence of ‘Dangerous overtaking of a Pedal Cycle’ and where such incidents are reported they will be fully investigated.