Gardaí are appealing to road users to stay safe on the road over the festive period as part of the Garda Síochána Western Region Road Safety Christmas Campaign.
The campaign, which began on December 1 and will run until January 4, aims to ensure that families do not have to suffer as the result of the death of a loved one on the roads.
More than 60 Garda checkpoints are in place around the west every day during the campaign, with gardaí focusing on speeding, drunk driving, failure to wear seat belts, and distraction driving issues such as mobile phone use and fatigue.
This year there is a morning element to a percentage of those checkpoints focusing on drink driving.
As part of the campaign enforcement of all road traffic legislation will be increased and large urban areas will be given special attention on weekend nights.
Gardaí conducted an operation focusing on mobile phone use over two days earlier this month, with a total of 139 drivers found using mobiles while driving in Galway during that time. A total of 35 offences were recorded in counties Mayo and Clare over the same period, with 30 in Roscommon and 25 in Longford.
According to the Garda these figures show that people are continuing to use mobile phones while driving despite repeated warnings. Gardaí will continue to focus on mobile phone usage throughout the holidays.
“We would urge all road users to ensure they take responsibility for their safety while using the roads this Christmas and in particular pedestrians should ensure that they are visible while out walking,” a Garda spokesperson said. “We urge all passengers travelling in vehicles to be aware of the driver’s condition and take action to prevent any accident occurring due to dangerous or careless driving.”
A total of 28 people have lost their lives on the roads in the west to date this year, including five people in Galway. County Mayo recorded a total of 10 road deaths, with six people losing their lives in Roscommon, four in Clare, and three in Longford.