Gardaí and The Road Safety Authority (RSA) have launched a new road safety campaign calling on road users to be extra cautious and alert to others on the road.
The appeal comes as traffic volumes increase following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions allowing intercounty travel to resume.
‘The Road Back’ campaign is reminding road users that the easing of travel restrictions will mean more cars are back on the road and with numbers of pedestrians and cyclists having increased significantly over the last year.
With people being encouraged to have an ‘outdoors summer’, the RSA and An Garda Síochána are calling on road users to pay attention and make the road a safer place for everyone.
Chief Superintendent Ray McMahon, National Roads Policing, said: “We appreciate that the vast majority of road users act responsibly when driving, but even a slight lapse in concentration can have very serious results.
“You never know when a pedestrian might step off the pavement or a cyclist might need to avoid an obstacle. It’s about expecting the unexpected and reading the road ahead.
“We are reminding drivers to remember the simple things — keep within speed limits, make sure to put on your seatbelt before setting off. Put your phones away and stay focused on the road ahead remaining vigilant of vulnerable road users.”
Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton said: “It is positive news to see the relaxation of travel restrictions. We have all worked so hard to get this public health crisis under control and can now look forward to getting back on the road and enjoying intercounty travel once again. But we need to continue to put safety first."
Mr Sam Waide, CEO of the Road Safety Authority said: “I know so many people are looking forward to being able to travel further distances, see family and friends, visit places they haven’t been for some time. We want to make sure that each of these trips ends safely. There is now a changed environment on our roads, with more people out walking and cycling. It is more important than ever that we share the roads and be mindful of vulnerable road users and one another. Drivers, please be alert to other road users, watch out for motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians. Slow down when passing pedestrians and cyclists.”
To date in 2021, a total of 45 people have died on Irish roads, eight less than the same period in 2020.