Motorists with broken or inappropriate lights are to be targeted at dedicated garda checkpoints in a two-day campaign.

Gardaí will hand out €60 on-the-spot fines to road users with faulty headlights in the Operation Light Up safety initiative, which takes place tomorrow and Thursday.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Road Safety Authority Chief Executive Noel Brett said defective lighting is one of the biggest complaints for Irish road users.

He said that 550,000 cars, or one in five of the national fleet, were found to have defective lights at the NCT in 2012.

Gardaí will also target motorists using fog lights when there is no fog or falling snow, as they can dazzle, distract other drivers and cause collisions.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillips said they are advising the public of the checkpoints, as they want motorists to fix the issue rather than get fined.

He said: "In simple terms, a one-headlight car could be mistaken for a motorcycle or make it impossible for you to see that pedestrian out walking because you have reduced your range of vision by 50%."

After seven years of sustained reduction in deaths on Irish roads, there has not been a good start to 2013.

A total of 31 people have died so far this year on the roads, which is 13 more than the same time last year.