Friday 18 January 2019

Gardai to carry out nationwide checkpoints and target 'killer behaviours' over Easter weekend

59 people have been killed or seriously injured in crashes over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend since 2012 according to the Road Safety Authority

Garda crackdown. Stock picture
Garda crackdown. Stock picture

Sean Nolan

Gardai will be carrying out a nationwide campaign of checkpoints to test drivers for drugs and alcohol this Easter weekend.

The announcement, made today, comes as the Road Safety Authority (RSA) released figures showing that 59 people have been killed or seriously injured in crashes over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend since 2012.

Gardai say that the Mandatory Intoxicant Testing (MIT) checkpoints will test motorists for the presence of alcohol or drugs.

In addition, Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said that gardai would also be on the look out for "killer behaviours" such as speeding, mobile phone use and seatbelt use.

"Members of the Garda Roads Policing Unit will be conducting roadside screening at MIT checkpoints right around the country, for both alcohol and drugs," Chief Superintendent Murphy said.

"In addition to this we will be watching out for the erratic behaviour of drivers as a means of identifying those who may be driving under the influence of an intoxicant. But drivers should be aware that as the Easter Bank Holiday weekend is a high risk period, we will also be targeting other killer behaviours such as speeding, mobile phone use and non-wearing of seatbelts. Our priority is to ensure that people who use the road responsibly are not put at risk by the minority of drivers who act without any consideration for the safety of others on the road.”

Speaking at the launch of the campaign Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA said: "Nobody ever thinks that something bad like being in a crash will ever happen to them, but it can.

"Fifty nine people over Easter Bank Holiday weekends since 2012 didn’t arrive home or suffered serious injury. We don’t want anyone to suffer this fate. That’s why we are making this public appeal with the Gardai. Have fun and enjoy the weekend but please remember that the decisions you make when using the road determine if you make it home safely. This means deciding not to drive under the influence of drugs or after drinking. If you have been drinking make alternative plans to get home safety.”

Meanwhile, the RSA and Applegreen are providing free cups of coffee to drivers between 2pm and 8pm from Friday March 30 until Monday April 2.

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