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RSA urges road users to share the roads safely this bank holiday weekend

road safety 04.08.2023
  • 100 people have died so far this year on Irish roads
  • Increase in road deaths this year could mean Ireland loses up to 168 lives on our roads by year-end.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is urging all road users to be vigilant and share the roads responsibly this August bank holiday weekend.

The warning comes following figures recently published by the RSA showing that road deaths in the first half of 2023 are the worst for six years. To date in 2023, 100 people have been killed on our roads, an increase of 11 deaths since last year with 8 killed in the past seven days. Meanwhile, as of 30 July 678 people have been seriously injured on Irish roads, a decrease of 160 from the same period last year*.

Last year,  2 fatalities occurred over the bank holiday period, and an additional 12 occurred throughout the month of August.

The RSA is urging drivers to slow down, look out for vulnerable road users and don’t forget to take breaks on your journey to avoid driver fatigue. Drivers should take greater care and expect to encounter walkers, cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders and agri-vehicles during the busier period.

People socialising over the weekend are urged to leave theirs car at home and plan ahead to ensure they get home safely. Most drink-driving offences occur the morning after, therefore drivers are reminded not to drive the morning after a night out. It is important to wait until you are safe to drive the morning after drinking, as you may still be over the legal limit and risk losing your licence and a fine, or worse.

The RSA is also reminding drivers to watch out for motorcyclists at junctions, intersections and in their blind spots. Motorcyclists are being reminded that they have less protection than a car driver and to always wear proper personal protection equipment and to ease off the throttle.

Mr Sam Waide, CEO of the Road Safety Authority said: “This week, we heard about the alarming increase in road deaths in the first half of 2023 and most recently, the tragic loss of life with two young people on Monday evening. My sympathy goes to all families affected by lost loved ones and those injured. No one wants further tragedy and heartbreak this year. We know this bank holiday weekend is high risk, with 14 deaths in the last five years. The roads will be very busy. My appeal is for all road users to share the road safely and be considerate of vulnerable road users. Plan how to travel safely, including after a long weekend. For drivers, please remember to slow down, as weather conditions have been unpredictable this summer, and don’t get behind the wheel if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If it means a taxi or designated driver, choose these options rather than taking a risk.”

This August Bank Holiday Weekend, drivers are being reminded that the RSA and participating Applegreen service stations are providing free cups of coffee to drivers to help drivers stay alert behind the wheel. The offer is available from 2pm to 8pm on Friday 04th and on Monday 7th August. Simply say ‘RSA’ to the till operator to avail of a free coffee. A list of participating stations is available at

*Caution is advised in interpreting 2023 serious injury numbers vs previous years. The data is provisional and subject to change. There can be significant fluctuations in serious injury numbers until such a time as the validation of these records is completed by the RSA.


Data made available from a Preliminary Analysis of Road Traffic Fatalities by the RSA has highlighted a number of worrying trends, including:

  • Twenty-five young people aged 16 – 25 have lost their lives so far this year.
  • Almost the same number of 16 – 25 year olds killed (25) in the first half of 2023 as with same period in 2021 and 2022 combined (27).
  • Almost half (47%) of all deaths on the roads occurred at night-time (8pm-8am), when the roads are at their quietest.
  • Three counties (Galway - 11, Mayo – 10, and Cork - 9) accounted for almost one third (30%) of all fatalities.


Road Deaths up to 03 August 2023. There have been 100 fatalities on our roads this year. 40 drivers, 15 motorcyclists, 22 pedestrians, 20 passengers, 2 cyclists and 1 e-scooter user have died on our roads in 2023.

KSI collisions and KSI injuries over the August Bank holiday period*, 2018-2022
Year Fatalities Fatal collisions Serious Injuries Serious Injury Collisions
2018 3 3 20 19
2019 0 0 27 23
2020* 4 3 38 30
2021* 5 5 33 26
2022* 2 2 20 19
*Figures are provisional and subject to change.
The August bank holiday period relates to 7am Thursday before the bank holiday Monday to 7am Wednesday after the bank holiday Monday.

Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy.
Ireland’s fifth government Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years. This means reducing deaths on Ireland’s roads annually from 144 to 72 or lower and reducing serious injuries from 1,259 to 630 or lower by 2030. 

 The strategy is the first step in achieving the 2020 Programme for Government commitment of bringing Ireland to ‘Vision Zero’. This is to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by the year 2050.