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21st May 2020

Gardaí to conduct speed checks across Ireland on National Slow Down Day tomorrow

Rudi Kinsella

national slow down day

More road deaths have been recorded in Ireland so far this year compared to last year.

Gardaí have announced that National Slow Down Day will take place on Friday 22 May.

From 7am on Friday until the same time on Saturday, Gardaí will conduct speed checks across the country with the overall objective of reducing the number of speed-related collisions, saving lives and reducing injuries on Irish roads.

Ahead of National Slow Down Day, Gardaí have shared a number of statistics in relation to road safety in Ireland.

As of 20 May 2020, there have been 56 fatalities on Irish roads this year, an increase of five deaths on the same day last year. Pedestrians account for 30% of all fatalities.

April 2020 has seen highest level of non-intercept detections since December 2018, perhaps showing a correlation between reduced traffic volumes (due to Covid-19) and high speeds.

Gardaí also found that excessive and inappropriate speed is a major contributory factor in road traffic collisions, further confirmed by the RSA report on fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012, which found that excessive speed was a contributory factor in almost one third of all fatal collisions during that time.

The higher the speed, the greater the likelihood of a collision happening and the more severe the outcome of that collision. As a general rule, a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions.

Speaking about the initiative occurring during the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Roads Policing Bureau said: “National Slow Down day is about making our roads and our communities safer. During the current Covid-19 restrictions we have seen an increase in the number of vulnerable users on our roads. Excessive or inappropriate speed contributes to serious injuries and fatalities.

“Despite reduced volumes of traffic on our roads, the levels of speed has increased. Whilst the vast majority of drivers drive safely within the speed limits, and it is most welcome, there still remain those who continue to drive at excessive speeds.

“We will maintain our focus on non-compliant drivers as they pose a risk to themselves and other road users.”

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