Bank holiday weekend set to be a scorcher

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

It looks like the bank holiday weekend will see people all dressed down in shorts and T-shirts but with only 5km to go, as it’s set to be a scorcher.

In these Covid-19 days, most of us will be confined to barbecues and beer in the back garden.

According to Met Éireann, the warm and mostly dry weather will continue right through the bank holiday weekend.

Tomorrow will be a glorious day with temperatures of 22C to 26C expected in some parts of the country.

Friday looks to be something similar, but might be a touch cooler in the east and south.

Saturday and Sunday will also be mostly dry with plenty of sunshine and Monday also looking like it will be a day for sunbathing.

Such has been the positive start to the summer, one bookmaker, Boylesports, has even seen people punting on June 2020 being the hottest one on record. The all-time heat record in Ireland topped out at 33.3C recorded at Kilkenny Castle on the June 26, 1887.

However, gardaí have warned road users to take extra care on the roads as provisional collision figures for 2020 show that there has been a 17% increase in the number of fatal crashes and a 9% increase in road deaths compared to last year.

A total of 60 people have been killed in 56 fatal collisions up to the May 27, compared to 55 deaths in 48 fatal collisions up to the same date last year.

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority have expressed concern that pedestrian deaths have doubled this year to 18 compared to nine in 2019.

Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary of the Garda National Roads Policing Unit said that an enforcement operation will be carried out this coming June bank holiday weekend.

“The operation will concentrate on the four ‘lifesaver’ offences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, non-seatbelt wearing and using a mobile phone while driving.”

“Of concern is the number of people arrested so far this year for driving under the influence of an intoxicant; either alcohol or drugs,” he said.

Despite the reduced traffic on roads and the closure of pubs, gardaí have still detected 1,153 people for drink driving since March 27.

In addition, roads policing members are still detecting motorists driving in excess of the speed limits, not wearing seatbelts, and driving while using mobile phones.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said he was alarmed by the rise in road deaths and pedestrian deaths in the first five months of the year.

“Road safety is a public health issue and the way we all behave on the road determines whether people live, suffer injury or die. I am appealing to all road users to please take a closer look at how you behave on the road and to take greater responsibility and practice good road safety habits,” he said.

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