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An Garda Síochána’s Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign 2021

Issue Date: 14 January 2021

An Garda Síochána’s Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign for 2021 commenced on Friday 26th November and concluded on Tuesday 4th January 2022. The campaign primarily focussed on Mandatory Intoxicant Testing i.e. detecting those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The campaign also focused on speeding, non-wearing of seatbelts, mobile phone use by drivers, in addition to checking on unaccompanied drivers driving on learner permits.  

For 2022, Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau continues to appeal to all road users to prioritise road safety.  ‘As we enter 2022 our thoughts are with the families of the 134 people who lost their lives on our roads during 2021. An Garda Síochána are committed to reducing deaths on our roads in 2022 and are asking all road users to make this their priority too.  While a large majority of the public listen and comply with road safety advice we want all road users to be safe’.

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman said -  ‘Over the Christmas period Gardaí arrested 914 drivers for Driving While Intoxicated, approximately 1 in 5 (21%) drug driving arrests occurred between 6am and 1pm. 35 Drink and Drug Driving incidents occurred on New Year’s Day, 12 of the incidents occurred between 6am-1pm, that’s a poor start to 2022 for some drivers. There were 13,950 speed detections over Christmas, while 1,269 FCN’s were issued to drivers using mobile phones and 525 FCN’s were issued to learner drivers, driving unaccompanied. These ongoing detections demonstrate that some road users continue to ignore road safety advice putting themselves and other road users at risk. I would appeal to all road users to modify their behaviour, to heed road safety advice in order to reduce collisions, avoid unnecessary deaths and to ensure that our roads are safer in 2022. Gardaí undertook 15,759 breath tests at 5,681 checkpoints over the Christmas period. We are playing our part, and ask all road users to play theirs’.

Sam Waide, Chief Executive, RSA said - "I would like to acknowledge the tremendous enforcement efforts from An Garda Síochána in 2021 and over the Christmas period, in addition to road users behaving safely. However, it is astonishing to see the numbers of those who persist to drink and drug drive, as it significantly increases the risk of a fatal collision. Inappropriate speed is still an issue and even a 5% reduction in average speed can reduce fatal collisions by 30%**. It is alarming to think that 28% of all drivers and passengers killed in 2021, in Ireland, were not wearing a seatbelt. These behaviours lead to death and serious injuries on our roads. I am asking those people who continue to break the rules to reconsider your behaviour, as there is a high likelihood you will be caught, face the prospect of being fined, receive penalty points, or lose your licence”. 

Key Statistics from Christmas Campaign*

During the period from 26th November 2021 until 4th January 2022.

• 914 Driving While Intoxicated arrests
• 13,950 Speeding detections
• 15,759 Breath Tests carried out
• 5,681 Checkpoints performed
• 1,269 FCN’s issued for use of Mobile Phones
• 310 FCN’s issued for non-wearing of seatbelts
• 525 FCN’s issued for Learner Drivers Driving Unaccompanied
• A total of 35 Drink and Drug Driving arrests occurred on New Year’s Day – 12 of these occurred between 6am and 1pm.

There were sadly, 19 fatalities on our roads during the period between 26th November 2021 and 4th January 2022. This compares with 10 for the same dates in 2020.

In 2021 there were a total of 134 fatalities on Irish roads. This compares with 146 in 2020.