Gardaí to target four major offences as part of clampdown on Irish roads
"Our roads are shared spaces, and we all have a duty of care to ourselves and to others to keep each and every road user safe."
Gardaí will target four specific "lifesaver" offences across the remainder of 2021 as part of a new national road safety enforcement operation.
In conjunction with the Road Safety Authority, Operation Teorainn will focus on driver behaviour via "enforcement and education" following a 19% increase in driver deaths in 2021.
Rural roads with limits of 80 kilometres per hour, in particular, will be highlighted.
The four lifesaver offences that Gardaí are seeking to clamp down on are:
- Driving whilst intoxicated
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Using a mobile phone whilst driving
Additionally, Gardaí will target unaccompanied driving by learner drivers and road transport offences.
The campaign arrives following a notably difficult summer for road safety. The month of August alone saw the highest number of monthly fatalities – 24 – since June of 2012, in which 26 deaths were recorded.
Overall, the number of road fatalities in 2021 stands at 111.
78% of related fatalities this year have occurred on rural roads with a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour or above.
With just two-and-a-half months remaining in 2021, Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority are urging road users, particularly drivers, to make a greater effort to stay safe on Irish roads. 33 people were killed in the final three months of 2020.
"Every fatal or serious injury collision has a devastating impact on the family, friends and communities of the people involved," said Chief Superintendent Michael Hennebry of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau on Monday.
"Our focus for the remainder of 2021 will be to reduce these collisions through this road safety enforcement campaign. Our roads are shared spaces, and we all have a duty of care to ourselves and to others to keep each and every road user safe.
"I am urging every road user to play their part by complying with the road traffic legislation and assist An Garda Síochána to make our roads safer places for all.”
In terms of education and enforcement measures, the RSA intends to run intensive awareness-raising campaigns, reminding learner and novice drivers that they are subject to a lower penalty point threshold than ordinary drivers.
" If they accumulate seven points in a three-year period they face disqualification for six months," said RSA CEO Sam Waide.
"It will also remind learner drivers that if they drive unaccompanied, they face two penalty points, an €80 fine and their car will be seized and impounded," he added.
The RSA will also address male drivers, with Waide noting that road safety is a "significantly male problem".
"79% of driver fatalities between 2016-2020 were male," he said.
"We will be laying bare more of these facts and challenging males to examine their road behaviour in our new campaign."