Major operation by Gardai ahead of bank holiday weekend

GARDAÍ say they will be maintaining a visible presence across Donegal over the bank holiday weekend.
A major operation will swing into action tomorrow with extra checkpoints and patrols concentrating on main roads.
Superintendent Michael Finan, Letterkenny, said officers will be out in great force as we head towards the August Bank Holiday weekend.
He appealed to people not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and urged motorists to drive safely over the coming days.
“With more licensed premises reopening this week there will be more people out and about and I would ask that they don’t drink and drive.
There will be additional Garda checkpoints at the weekend and they are all equipped to test for drugs. Anyone caught will be prosecuted,” Supt Finan warned.
“People can expect to see more Garda activity, especially on the major routes, this weekend,” he added.
It comes as a major survey shows that the majority of road deaths to date this year occurred on rural roads.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) shows that from January 1 to July 15 this year 65 people died on Irish roads in 60 collisions. This represents 12 per-cent fewer collisions and 12 per-cent fewer deaths compared to provisional Garda data for the same period in 2020.
A significant majority of fatalities happened outside of urban areas, with 82 per-cent occurring on rural roads with a speed limit of 80km/h or higher. The review also found that 406 people were seriously injured in collisions. Further analysis shows that pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists accounted for almost half of all serious injuries
The time between noon and 4pm was the riskiest on Irish roads, accounting for 31 per-cent of fatalities to date in 2021. There were 59 per-cent fewer road user fatalities occurring between midnight and 8am compared to the same period in 2020. The number of fatalities occurring at the weekend decreased by a quarter versus last year.
Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said more drivers and motorcyclists have been killed on the road in 2021.
“I’m asking everyone who gets behind the wheel to slow down and stay focused, especially as traffic volumes increase and return to normal levels in the coming months,” said Mr Waide.
Last year An Garda Síochána issued 181,263 Fixed Charge Notices to motorists for speeding.
Chief Superintendent Mick Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, asked people to consider the safety of all road users this weekend.
“If you are heading on staycation this weekend, please leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Take breaks and if you feel tired, pull over. Make sure that caravans and other loads are properly secured before you start your journey. Finally, we would appeal to motorists visiting tourist spots and beaches to park legally and be mindful of emergency vehicles requiring access to such areas.”

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