Road deaths in Ireland have increased by more than a third in 2019, according to gardaí.

So far this year, 34 people have died on Irish roads, which is an increase of nine on the same period last year.

Of those 34 people, 25 have either been a driver or passenger.

Gardaí said the upward trend must be addressed immediately and called for every road user to re-double their efforts and to use the road as safely as they possibly can.

Analysis from 2018 reveals that nearly one-in-three vehicle related fatalities had no safety belt on at the time of the collision.

Gardaí say early investigations indicate this trend is continuing into 2019.

Other factors such as excessive or inappropriate speed, weather or road conditions, and drink/drug-driving are also significant factors in fatal road traffic collisions.

More than 13,000 motorists were detected exceeding the speed limit in January, an increase of almost 5,000 on the same month last year.

Gardaí added that there has also been an increase in detections in some categories, such as driving while under the influence, non-use of safety belts and mobile phone use.

Almost 700 drivers were detected as under the influence in January this year, while in January of last year, 597 drivers were detected.

As many as 2,235 drivers were caught using a mobile phone in January, an increase from 1,888 on the same month last year.

Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said: "This increase in road deaths is significant and affects all parts of the country.

"Every fatality has a devastating impact on family, friends and their local community. I call on every road user to play their part to make the roads safer.

"Think road safety every journey, and do everything you can to make the roads safer for all road users."