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An Garda Síochána and RSA urge road users to take greater care on roads over the May Bank Holiday Weekend as deaths increase by 8% in 2023

road safety 27.04.2023



  • 4 people killed and 27 seriously injured* over May Bank Holiday 2022.
  • Gardai to focus on Life Saver Offences over bank holiday including, speeding, impaired driving, non-seatbelt wearing and distracted driving.
  • 154 people arrested for driving under the influence over the 2022 May Bank Holiday Weekend, 13% of these arrests made between the hours of 6am to 2pm

An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are urging all road users to take care this May Bank Holiday Weekend as provisional road collision figures show that here has been an 8% increase in road deaths to date in 2023.

The appeal comes as RSA collision data shows that the May Bank Holiday is a high risk period for collisions with a total of 7 people killed and 83 people seriously injured over the weekend in the last 5 years. Last year’s bank holiday was a tragic weekend for road safety with four fatalities and 27 people seriously injured.

Enforcement statistics released by An Garda Síochána for last year’s May Bank Holiday show that they detected.

  • 2,820 speeding incidents,
  • 154 motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 13% of these were recorded between the hours of 6am and 2pm across the weekend.
  • 91 drivers not wearing a seatbelt, and
  • 212 drivers using a mobile phone.

An Garda Síochána will have an increased presence on the roads across the country, over the high-risk bank holiday, targeting the four lifesaver offences and dangerous driving activity.

Chief Superintendent Jane Humphries, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said, As the May Bank Holiday weekend approaches, we urge you to prioritise safety on the roads. The Gardaí will have a high visibility presence this weekend and a focus on the four lifesaver offences; speeding, mobile phone use while driving, seatbelt compliance and intoxicated driving. It's up to each and every one of us to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe.

“We focus on these offences as research tells us that they are the biggest causes of fatal and serious injuries on the road. You can do your part this weekend by driving within the speed limit and according to the road and traffic conditions, putting on your seatbelt and ensuring all passengers do likewise before commencing your journey.

“When behind the wheel, ignore your phone it’s not worth the distraction and finally never, ever drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and remember that you may still be over the limit the following morning. By following these simple guidelines, we can all do our part to prevent accidents and keep our roads safe.

“Let's make this May Bank Holiday weekend a safe and enjoyable one for all.”

Ms. Sarah O’Connor, Director of Partnership and External Affairs, Road Safety Authority said, “I want to appeal to all road users to slow down and take extra care. The roads will be a much busier with people travelling on short breaks - many will be travelling to and from sporting and local events too, so the advice is to slow down and expect the unexpected on your journey. I would also specifically appeal to drivers to watch out for people cycling, walking, horse riding and riding motorbikes. By doing so, we can ensure that the weekend remains free of trauma for families. This is not an impossible thing to achieve as there were no fatalities over the recent St. Patrick’s bank holiday weekend – together we can do this again this weekend.

To help drivers stay alert behind the wheel over the Bank Holiday Weekend, the RSA and Applegreen will provide free cups of coffee to drivers between 2pm and 8pm on Friday 28th April and Monday 1st May at participating service stations. Simply say ‘RSA’ or ‘Driver Reviver’ to the till operator to avail of a free coffee. A list of participating stations is available at

To date in 2023, a total of 56 people have died on Irish roads, an increase of 4 compared to the same date in 2022.


Table 1: May Bank Holiday fatalities and serious injuries, 2018-2022*
 Fatal Collisions Fatalities Serious Injuries
2018 1 1 21
2019 2 2 19
2020* 0 0 5
2021* 0 0 11
2022* 4 4 27
Total 7 7 83
*Figures are provisional and subject to change.
Table 2: May Bank Holiday Garda Enforcement stats*  
Speed detectionsMobile Phone detectionsSeatbelt detectionsDrink driving detectionsDrug driving detections
*Figures are provisional and subject to change.  


Driving under the influence arrests May BH 2022 From 6am to 2pm:

  • 7 Drink-Driving arrests (8% of total)
  • 13 Drug-Driving arrests (21% of total)

Driving under the influence arrests May BH 2019 From 6am to 2pm:

  • 17 Drink-Driving arrests (14% of total)
  • 6 Drug-Driving arrests (12% of total)

Enforcement statistics Quarter 1 2023

  • 36,396 speed detections (11,216 intercept, 25,180 non-intercept)
  • 4,614 mobile phone detections
  • 1,295 seatbelt detections
  • 1,267 Drink-driving arrests
  • 767 Drug-Driving arrests
  • From 6am to 2pm there were: 127 Drink-Driving arrests (10% of total). 192 Drug-Driving arrests (25% of total)