Gardai to tackle drug-driving over Easter

GARDAÍ in Letterkenny are ramping up operations and resources ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend.
It comes as a joint warning has been issued by An Garda Siochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA), urging people to act responsibly on the roads. Donegal Road Safety Working Group has also implored people to have patience as a large volume of traffic is expected.

Speaking to the Donegal News, Sergeant Eunan Walsh, Letterkenny Garda Station, said significant numbers of gardaí will be on patrol over the coming days.
“There will be numerous road traffic checkpoints in Letterkenny and throughout the county over the weekend.

“The Easter bank holiday weekend is traditionally a very busy couple of days locally and we urge motorists never to drink and drive and to obey the speed limit of the roads they are driving on.”


Sergeant Walsh said there has been a particular problem with drug driving. He said the rising number of such incidents were of concern.
Figures contained in the Medical Bureau of Road Safety’s (MBRS) annual report for 2020 revealed a 29 per cent increase in blood and urine samples sent by gardaí in Donegal Division for analysis. Cannabis and cocaine remain the most detected drugs in drivers.
Sergeant Walsh said the Easter Bank Holiday weekend is traditionally popular for visitors to the county. He said garda operations will be taking place across Donegal.
“I am issuing the same advice to visitors not to drink and drive or drug drive and obey the speed limit of the road.
“We will have extra resources over the weekend.”
The Road Safety Authority say as of April 13, 2022, there was one fatality on Donegal’s roads. Provisional figures from An Garda Síochána show that 50 people have lost their lives on Irish roads to date this year compared to 27 up to the same date last year.
Road Safety Officer
Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer, has strenuously called on all road users to act responsibly when travelling on the roads over the weekend.
“Many people will be out to visit family and friends, some making long journeys. Remember that everyone is in the same position as you. Don’t get frustrated if you are stuck behind slow moving traffic. Be patient and ensure you arrive at your destination safely.”
Ways to stay safe on the road include, always wear your seatbelt, never drink or drug drive, avoid driving if fatigued and ensure your vehicle is roadworthy.
Mr O’Donnell said any mistake on the road can lead to very serious consequences for everyone involved.
“With the extra traffic, journey times will increase and we therefore appeal to everyone travelling long distances to leave in plenty of time to get to their destination, plan their route, take their time and be well rested before setting out on their journey.”
Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, said the country has seen an “appalling” start to the year with 50 lives lost.
“An average of 15 people have been killed each month on the road to date this year.” he said.

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