Speaking today Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said, “An Garda Síochána is deeply saddened by the horrific death toll on Irish road over the past week. I want to take this opportunity to send our condolences to all of those affected by these tragic events. An Garda Síochána views any road death as one to many and we will continue to work together with our partners in road safety to build on the reduction in road deaths evidenced over the past number of years.
While we welcome the reduction of fatalities that we have witnessed over the past two years, events over the past week demonstrate that we cannot afford to be complacent in any manner and I appeal to all roads users to be extra vigilant – in particular on dark evenings and while using unlit or poorly lit roads. Be safe, be seen, be careful and be on the alert for other road users. (It is not appropriate to comment at this time on recent fatal collisions as they are subject to forensic collision investigations).
It is with this in mind that Garda activity across the country will continue to focus on the offences that contribute most significantly to road traffic collisions, and in particular the offences of Driving while intoxicated and speeding.
I would like to thank the majority of law abiding road users who act responsibly and support Garda initiatives. Your behaviour saves lives and I want to acknowledge this. However, despite this there are drivers who refuse to get the message.
To date in 2019, 634 drivers have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, three (3) of whom were arrested for drug driving offences at one checkpoint in Cavan in the past week. An Garda Síochána will continue our programme of testing as many people as possible at Mandatory Intoxicant Checkpoints, Road Traffic collisions and where a Road Traffic offence is detected.
We will also continue to work with our partners in ‘GoSafe’ to tackle the dangers associated with speed. The development of the safety camera zones has had an enormous impact on safety of our roads. This combined with An Garda Síochána’s own speed enforcement activities continues to form a key part of our strategy to reduce road deaths. To date in 2019, 2,920,553 motorists have been monitored by the Safety Camera network and while the majority of drivers have been compliant, 9,343 have been detected speeding.
There is no place on our roads for people who do not comply with legislation, these people are putting not only their own lives at risk but also the lives of all other road users.
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said, “We have had a dreadful week on our roads. Ten lives lost, four alone in a single collision in Co. Donegal .
Our deepest sympathies are not only with the families of the bereaved who have lost their loved ones over the weekend but indeed with all the families of victims of road crashes so far this year.
While it is understandable that people will want answers following such tragedy, it is important that we allow the Gardaí conduct their investigations and not rush to judgement.
In the meantime, I hope that this appalling loss of life will serve as a reminder to us all that life is fragile and using the roads is the most dangerous thing we do each day. Nobody ever believes it will happen to them but tragedy can strike anywhere at any time on the road. We need to remember this every time we set out on a journey.
I would appeal to road users to slow down, drive at the right speed for the conditions and watch out for vulnerable road users. Don’t drive when impaired through drink, drugs or fatigue and always wear a seatbelt and ensure passengers are wearing theirs too, no matter how short the trip.
This advice is all the more important given the fact that Met Eireann has issued alerts warnings of the risk of icy roads and also sleet and snow this week.”