A surge in the number of crashes across Co Donegal over the past week has led gardaí to issue a warning to the public.
There have been 34 road crashes across Donegal involving more than 50 people since last Tuesday. Some have been minor, while others have led to several people being hospitalised.
Garda Niall Maguire of Falcarragh Garda station said people need to be more vigilant. “That [the number of crashes] is quite a high number for all we have here in Donegal. We would appeal to drivers to be vigilant and to slow down.”
Gda Maguire also revealed 15 people have been arrested in the past week in Donegal for being under the influence of drink or drugs while driving.
He added “There is definitely an increase in the availability of drugs, but also our ability to detect drugs has increased.”
Gda Maguire also said that the increased number of crashes meant further strain on the emergency services and on hospital capacity.
Brian O’Donnell, Donegal County Council’s road safety officer, said the good weather meant there would be a lot more agricultural vehicles on the road.
“We would appeal to motorists to be alert at all times and to slow down. Driving at a safe speed will give people that extra time to brake safely in an emergency. Accidents do happen but there is a lot people can do to help prevent them happening,” he said.
The recent crashes coincide with a warning issued by Letterkenny University Hospital about record numbers arriving at its accident and emergency department last weekend. Almost 300 people presented at the hospital on Saturday and Sunday last for treatment leading to long delays.