During the first two hours of National Slow Down Day, 171 vehicles were detected exceeding the applicable speed limit. According to a Garda statement, speed checks were carried out on 29,593 vehicles across the State in that time.
National Slow Down Day is now underway, with gardaí around the country clamping down on drivers travelling over the speed limit.
The 24-hour initiative, supported by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), aims to raise awareness of the dangers of driving too fast and act as a deterrent to speeding.
The increased garda presence on roads began at 7am on Friday morning and will involve high visibility monitoring across 1,322 speed enforcement zones.
According to the RSA, there has been 20 road fatalities this year up to March 23rd, down 26 compared to the same period in 2020. Last year, there were 137 fatal collisions, resulting in 148 fatalities on Irish roads.
National Slow Down Day 26/03/2021 - 27/03/2021
The overall objective is to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
In 2020 there were 148 fatalities on Irish roads.#SlowdownHelpSaveLives #SpeedKills#ArriveAlive pic.twitter.com/UW2BD8ddJH
— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) March 26, 2021
The RSA says a 1 per cent reduction in average speed brings about a 4 per cent reduction in fatal collisions.
Motorists are asked to reduce their to below the posted limit and to adjust appropriately to weather and traffic conditions.
RSA chief executive Sam Waide urged drivers to support National Slow Down Day by "easing off on the accelerator".
"Speeding is a factor in a third of fatal crashes each year and those most at risk are vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
"Hit at 60km/h, a pedestrian has only a 10 per cent chance of survival. Hit at 30km/h, a pedestrian has a 90 per cent chance of survival. Slowing down behaviour saves lives, particularly when road conditions are wet," Mr Waide said.
"In these conditions you need to slow down and leave a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front. It’s also vital that your tyres are in a roadworthy condition.
"Make sure they have not fallen below the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and check the pressure regularly," he added.