Road safety: 3,000 drivers caught speeding over June bank holiday - gardaí

Gardaí made 182 arrests for drink- and drug-driving over their five-day, bank holiday weekend campaign

14/03/2022 - NEWS - The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have launched their St. Patrick’s Weekend Bank Holiday road safety appeal. The Drager Alcometer (Breathalyser) the Garda checkpoint on the Chapelizod Road.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Gardaí made 182 arrests for drink- and drug-driving over its five-day, bank holiday weekend campaign, which featured more than 800 checkpoints and almost 3,000 detections for speeding.

The Garda operation which was in place from 7am on Thursday, June 2nd, to 7am on Tuesday, June 7th, also covered a period when eight people died on the State’s roads: three drivers, three motorcyclists, one passenger and one pedestrian.

A comparison with the June bank holiday weekend in 2019 showed there were also eight deaths on the roads in a similar period that year. In 2019 those killed included four drivers, two pedestrians, one passenger and one cyclist.

Gardaí said although significant progress was made in road safety over recent years the number of people killed on the State’s roads up to Thursday was 79 — an increase of 32 road fatalities compared to the similar period last year, and an increase of 15 road deaths compared to the similar period in 2019.

Gardaí said this June bank holiday had seen an overall total of 1,585 checkpoints, including 817 mandatory intoxicant testing checkpoints. Gardaí also managed significant public events including Bloom in Dublin’s Phoenix Park; the Women’s Mini Marathon, also in Dublin; Cork City Marathon; and the Munster and Leinster hurling finals.

The results show:

  • 69 drivers were arrested for alleged drug driving
  • 113 drivers were arrested for alleged drink driving.
  • 191 people were fined for using mobile phones while driving
  • 63 learner drivers were given fines for driving unaccompanied
  • 77 people were given fines for not wearing a seat belt
  • 311 Vehicles were detained under section 41 Road Traffic Act for driving offences such as not having a licence, insurance or valid NCT.

This figures compare to 32 arrests for drug driving and 115 arrests for drink driving in 2019. Gardai described the rise in the number of fatalities so far this year, in relation to the similar period last year, as “a tragedy”.

Assistant Garda commissioner Paula Hilman said “this is not just a number, these are people, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues. There is one simple thing that every driver can do to help stop this carnage, one simple message: ‘slow down’.”

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist