1,800 drivers found breaking speed limit over St Patrick’s weekend

No road deaths across bank holiday period but vehicles caught travelling as fast as 181km/h by Garda checks

Vehicles travelling at speeds of 181 and 164km/h were among those intercepted by gardaí during a St Patrick’s weekend road safety campaign. In total, 1,800 drivers were found to be driving over the speed limit on Irish roads from Thursday, March 16th to Tuesday, March 21st as gardaí carried out speed checks on nearly half a million vehicles.

There were no road deaths over the bank holiday weekend but 12 serious collisions took place, resulting in 17 serious and life-threatening injuries. In 2023, 41 people have died on Irish roads, an increase of one fatality on 2022 and three fatalities over the same period in 2019.

Across 678 Garda checkpoints, 196 people were arrested over the long weekend for driving under the influence. Of these, 136 arrests were for drink driving, while the remaining 60 were under the influence of drugs.

Fixed-charge penalties were issued to 152 drivers for using their mobile phones while at the wheel, with 99 unaccompanied learner drivers detected. 55 people were alleged to have offended in the use of seatbelts. A total of 379 vehicles were detained under section 41 of the Road Traffic Act for offences such as unaccompanied learner driver, driving without a licence and driving an uninsured or untaxed vehicle.


“We are certainly relieved there was no loss of life on our roads over the St Patrick’s weekend this year,” said Paula Hilman, assistant commissioner for roads policing and community engagement. “We are, however, very mindful there were 12 serious injury road traffic collisions and of the impact they have had on both the individuals involved and their families.

“As is reflected in the number of checkpoints, detections and arrests over the weekend, An Garda Síochána remains committed to ensuring compliance with road traffic legislation to improve safety on our roads.

“We are committed to our work with the Road Safety Authority and partners to deliver Vision Zero on our roads.”

An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all road users to never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to slow down and to always choose a speed that is appropriate to the driving conditions.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist