2023 has already been devastating for road safety, with 127 deaths on Irish roads to date.
That represents 24 more than the same period 2022 and 36 more than the same period 2019.
One in five (27) of all deaths this year were younger persons, aged between 6 and 20.
With children back to school this week, Gardai have unveiled their Back to School Road Safety Awareness programme.
“All road users will be aware of the increased traffic on our roads this week as our primary and secondary schools across the country have returned full time,” a representative said.
“An Garda Síochána want to take the opportunity to raise awareness that this increase in traffic is not just an increase in vehicles.
“There is an increase in our younger people, schoolchildren, hopefully walking and cycling to schools.
“School Traffic Wardens and junior Traffic wardens are back on our roads keeping children and parents safe as they cross roads on their journeys to and from school.
“School buses have returned to our roads and will be stopping at different locations along their route to pick up and set down children, An Garda Síochána appeal to all drivers to be patient, be careful if overtaking a stopped school bus, there may likely be children trying to cross the road.
“Today is an opportunity for all road users to reflect and remember this increase in vulnerable road users on our roads.
“An Garda Síochána is appealing to all drivers, whether using your vehicle for a personal journey, commuting to work or driving for work, to play their part in making our roads safer.
“The World Health Organisation (2017) estimated that a 5% reduction in average speed could result in a 30% reduction in fatal collisions, and therefore reducing every motorists’ speed is essential to improving safety on our roads.
“A pedestrian or cyclist involved in a Road Traffic Collision with a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h has a 50% chance of living – A pedestrian or cyclist involved in a Road Traffic Collision with a vehicle travelling at 60 km/h has only a 10% chance of living.
“An Garda Síochána also appeals to all parents who are driving to drop and collect their children to school to park legally in the vicinity of schools, do not block pedestrian crossings and do not park blocking the visibility along the road.
“Do not drop children from a car while sitting queuing in traffic.”