Kilkenny drivers urged to slow down as worrying trend revealed

Gardaí will be out in force this bank holiday weekend

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

File pic: Gardaí will launch a Roads Policing enforcement operation this coming June Bank Holiday weekend

Kilkenny drivers are being urged to slow down in particular ahead of the upcoming bank holiday weekend.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere says he is receiving a lot of phone calls from families out walking who are worried about vehicles going past at speed.

“With the weather to stay fine, the big message is safety on the roads,” he said.

“The speed cars are going at has increased, and there are lots of people out walking and on bikes. I’d also ask anyone on machinery to exercise caution. I have had numerous representations from families worried about speed, and it is a big concern.”

An Garda Síochána and The Road Safety Authority (RSA) have also renewed their appeal for road users to take extra care, as provisional collision figures for 2020 show that there has been a 17% increase in the number of fatal crashes and a 9% increase in road deaths compared to last year. Sixty people were killed in 56 fatal collisions up to today (May 27) compared to 55 deaths in 48 fatal collisions up to May 27 last year.

Of great concern for both the Gardai and RSA is the doubling in pedestrian deaths this year. Eighteen pedestrians have been killed this year, compared to nine in 2019.

"In light of the increase in road deaths this year, An Garda Síochána will launch a Roads Policing enforcement operation this coming June Bank Holiday weekend," Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Garda National Roads Policing Unit said.

"The operation will concentrate on the four ‘Lifesaver’ offences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, non-seatbelt wearing and using a mobile phone while driving. Of concern is the number of people arrested so far this year for driving under the influence of an intoxicant; either alcohol or drugs.

Notwithstanding the recent Covid-19 restrictions with reduced traffic on roads and the closure of licenced premises, there have still been 1,153 people detected for driving under the influence of an intoxicant, since March 27.

"In addition, Roads Policing members are still detecting motorists driving in excess of the speed limits, not wearing seatbelts and driving while using mobile phones," said Chief Supt Cleary.

"This bank holiday weekend there will be increased Garda activity and roads policing enforcement; the primary focus of this operation is to save lives and prevent serious collisions. We want people to enjoy this bank holiday weekend as best they can in difficult circumstances, but we also want every road user to act responsibly and stay safe when using the road.”