Motorists are being urged to carry out basic safety checks on their vehicles before getting behind the wheel again after the Covid-19 pandemic.

A new road safety campaign is asking drivers to recognise that road travel has changed, with increased numbers of pedestrians and cyclists.

As traffic volumes begin to increase with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions this week, gardaí are urging motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to share the roads safely.

They have launched a new campaign reminding drivers to slow down and be aware that more people are out walking and cycling.

The campaign is called 'We're on the road back. Make it a safer one', and it follows the lifting of travel restrictions, which now allow travel within a 20km limit of the home or within the county boundary.

Since Sunday, gardaí no longer have the power to enforce the restrictions on movement in the emergency legislation introduced to tackle the spread of Covid-19, but they say they will still be engaging and encouraging people to comply with the regulations.

Those who have not been driving for some time are being asked to make sure their cars are still roadworthy and to make basic safety checks on their vehicles before getting back out on the road.

Pedestrians are also being urged to be cautious, and reminded to use footpaths, or to walk on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic in areas where there are no footpaths.

So far this year, 64 people have lost their lives on the roads. That is the same figure for the same period this time last year.

It is despite a reduction of 70% in traffic volume since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced.

Of the fatalities this year, seven have been pedestrians and three were motorcyclists.