Increased Garda presence on Wicklow’s roads for bank holiday as report reveals pedestrian deaths have doubled this year
Gardai in Wicklow will be out in force this June Bank holiday weekend as they expect to see a jump in the amount of people on the roads due to the good weather and easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The local units will be targeting people driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, people who are speeding, and unsafe driving.
Launching their roads operation for the Bank Holiday weekend, the gardai are urging the public is to take extra care on the roads.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has joined the gardai in their appeal as provisional road death figures for 2020 just released 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.
In spite of the coronavirus lockdown which has been in place for ten weeks now and has seen up to a 90% reduction in traffic volume, 60 people have been killed on Irish roads up to the May 27, compared to 55 deaths up to May 27 2019.
Of greatest concern for both the RSA and gardai is the doubling in pedestrian deaths this year – 18 pedestrians have been killed this year compared to nine up to the same point in 2019.
Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Garda National Roads Policing Unit said, “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.
“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,” Chief Superintendent Cleary said.
Gardai have dealt with 1,153 people driving under the influence of an intoxicant, since March 27, the beginning of the lockdown.
“This bank holiday weekend there will be increased Garda activity and roads policing enforcement,” Chief Superintendent Cleary continued. “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,” he concluded.