Almost 200 people killed on Irish roads

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Over 180 people have been killed in road tragedies across the south over the past year, gardai have confirmed.

As of December 30, 186 people had died as a result of collisions, and a number of further fatalities confirmed over the New Year weekend on Irish roads.

During 2016, there have been several fatal crashes including a number with multiple casualties across Donegal.

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority have urged drivers across the country to try to help make the roads a safer place for all in the New Year.

They also issued a general appeal for motorists to be responsible in relation to drinking and driving, as it emerged there has been a 34% hike in the number of arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence during December across Ireland - a total of 738 compared to 549 for the same period in 2015.

An Garda Síochána reminded “every driver” that targeted operations will continue on a 24/7 basis, including the morning after.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael Finn said: “On Christmas day alone 14 drivers were arrested by Gardaí on suspicion of intoxicated driving. It is disappointing following the many appeals and media focus in this area, that so many divers continue to take such a risk.

“We again appeal to drivers to be responsible and to never, ever drink and drive. We appeal to passengers to never take a lift from someone who has been drinking.”

Moyagh Murdock, CEO, Road Safety Authority meanwhile added: “Any amount of alcohol impairs your driving, this is not an opinion, it’s a scientific fact. Be aware too that you may not be safe to drive the morning after a night out, as you may still have alcohol in your system. Our appeal is to passengers too, don’t take a lift from anyone who has been drinking and don’t put your life in their hands.”