Road Safety Authority Chairperson Liz O'Donnell has said she has been in contact with Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to ensure there are adequate numbers of gardaí policing the roads.

Ms O’Donnell said numbers in the traffic corps have fallen from 1,500 at their height to 668 at present and she said it was obvious that this would make a difference.

Currently two of the 17 vacant positions at senior garda level are in the traffic corps. Ms O’Donnell said this was an operational matter for An Garda Síochána and the Government, and that it was also being dealt with by the Policing Authority.

However, she said traffic corps numbers had fallen significantly since the recession.

Ms O’Donnell said she had requested Minister Fitzgerald look at the matter and make sure that road safety gets its fair cohort of new recruits coming from the garda college.

Ms O’Donnell was speaking at an event in Dublin in which singer Christy Moore paid tribute to those who had lost loved ones in road traffic accidents.

The event was held to mark this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Mr Moore said there were more distractions on the road than ever and he had been shocked at the sight of drivers of cars and heavy trucks texting or looking at something on their devices.

He said legislation was needed to deal with it.