The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are issuing an urgent road safety appeal to all road users to slow down, wear seatbelts, not to drive when impaired, or distracted – particularly by illegally using your phone while driving –, or when tired. Also, watch out for vulnerable road users over this Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
It should be borne in mind by us all, that this appeal follows an extremely worrying increase in road deaths so far in 2022.
Provisional figures from An Garda Síochána 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. This is 23 more unnecessary deaths and heartache for families and friends and represents an almost doubling of last year’s figure.
While the RSA and An Garda Síochána have issued a general appeal for road users to take greater care on the road this Easter Bank Holiday there will also be focus on drug driving. Garda figures for the full year 2021 saw over 3,300 arrests for drug-driving. The number of arrests in 2022, up to 31st March, is 768.
Analysis by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) shows that cannabis and cocaine remain the most detected drugs in drivers on Irish roads. In 2021, 57 per cent of specimens tested for drugs contained cannabis, 31 per cent contained cocaine and 14 per cent were found to have benzodiazepines.
Road users to make this a safer Bank Holiday Weekend
This Easter Bank Holiday Weekend drivers are being reminded that the RSA and participating Applegreen service stations are providing free cups of coffee to drivers to help combat driver fatigue. The offer is available from 2pm to 8pm on Friday 15th and on Monday 18th April.
Drivers planning to head out socialising over the Easter Bank Holiday are urged to plan how they are going to get home safely. Book a taxi or hackney, use public transport or designate a driver. The same also applies if planning to walk, particularly in rural areas where there may be no footpaths or street lighting.