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Easter bank holiday brings higher risk of road deaths

Checkpoints are in place across the country as part of a Garda Bank Holiday Road Enforcement Operation.

The campaign is aimed at making roads safer by highlighting dangers facing motorists and an increased focus of targeting road users who flout the law.

Gardaí are warning motorists that the risk of being killed or seriously injured in road crashes is particularly high today.

So far this year, 56 people have lost their lives in road collisions, including a woman in her 30s who died following a two-car collision on the N24 in Co Tipperary last night.

Speaking at a checkpoint in Chapelizod in Dublin yesterday, Sergeant Gavin Coleman said the number has increased by 13 from this time last year, “so it is going in the wrong direction this year”.

Asked why today might be the most dangerous time this Bank Holiday weekend in terms of collisions, Sgt Coleman said: “People are travelling for social reasons. Or not commuting.

“You may be going somewhere that’s unfamiliar. You may be relaxing. You’re not doing the same trip every day.”

He warned that it only takes a split second for accidents to happen.

Yesterday, gardaí said that 19 people were arrested on suspicion of intoxication from drink or drugs in the first 24 hours of the Garda Easter Bank Holiday road safety enforcement campaign, which will continue until Tuesday morning.

In Northern Ireland, the PSNI said 71 people died on the roads in 2023 – an eight-year high.

Chief Superintendent Sam Donaldson from Operational Support Department said: “Another 15 have already lost their lives on our roads since 1 January 2024.

“I am appealing to every member of the public to take more care on the roads.

“”We know there will be more road users on our road network during the public holidays, including drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. This leads to an increased risk of collisions, so it is important to remember we ALL have a responsibility to be safe and take extra care on our roads.

“In the coming days we will be paying particular attention to our road network specifically looking for road users taking unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks.”

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