An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have issued a joint appeal urging road users to take greater care on roads over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
The appeal comes as provisional road collision figures show the number of deaths on Irish roads has increased by 8% in 2023.
To date in 2023, a total of 56 people have died on Irish roads, an increase of four compared to the same date in 2022.
Data compiled by the RSA has highlighted that the May Bank Holiday is a high risk period for collisions.
7 people have been killed and 83 seriously injured over the weekend in the last five years.
During last year’s May Bank Holiday weekend, there were four fatalities and 27 people seriously injured.
Statistics released by An Garda Síochána for the 2022 May Bank Holiday show that they detected 2,820 speeding incidents.
154 motorists were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 13% of these were recorded between the hours of 6:00a.m and 2:00p.m across the weekend.
Gardaí also caught 91 drivers not wearing a seatbelt and 212 motorists who were using a mobile phone.
Chief superintendent Jane Humphries, from the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said: “As the May Bank Holiday weekend approaches, we urge you to prioritise safety on the roads.
“Gardaí will have a high visibility presence this weekend and a focus on the four lifesaver offences; speeding, mobile phone use while driving, seatbelt compliance and intoxicated driving.
“It’s up to each and every one of us to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe,” the chief superintendent said.
Sarah O’Connor, director of Partnership and External Affairs at the RSA, added: “The roads will be a much busier with people travelling on short breaks – many will be travelling to and from sporting and local events too, so the advice is to slow down and expect the unexpected on your journey.
“I would also specifically appeal to drivers to watch out for people cycling, walking, horse riding and riding motorbikes. By doing so, we can ensure that the weekend remains free of trauma for families.
“This is not an impossible thing to achieve as there were no fatalities over the recent St. Patrick’s bank holiday weekend – together we can do this again this weekend,” she said.