The head of the Road Safety Authority has called for the policing of road safety to be made a priority, and for more resources to be allocated to the Garda Traffic Corps.

In a statement, RSA Chairperson Liz O'Donnell raised concerns about what she described as a "very worrying" decline in the number of officers working in the Traffic Corps.

1,200 gardai were assigned to the Garda Traffic Corps in 2009, however, five years on that figure has fallen to just 750.

Ms O'Donnell said that a highly visible presence of officers on the roads, along with a fear of enforcement of current laws, was the single biggest factor in changing the behaviour of road users.

Ms O'Donnell said that while gardaí were doing a brilliant job with the resources available, she said it would be vital to increase the number of officers in the Traffic Corps. 

She added that road safety policing must be made a priority.

So far this year, 15 people have been killed on the roads - six fewer deaths than in the same period last year.