The Road Safety Authority has issued a stark warning that years of road safety progress is at risk of being undone.
New figures reveal that road deaths in the first half of 2023 are the worst for six years, with 100 people killed on Ireland's roads so far this year.
The RSA warns that should current trends continue as many as 168 lives will be lost on the roads by the end of the year.
Data made available from a Preliminary Analysis of Road Traffic Fatalities by the RSA has highlighted a number of worrying trends.
The data showed that 23 people aged between 16 and 25 lost their lives on the roads so far this year, which is almost the same number as with same period in 2021 and 2022 combined.
It also showed that almost half of all deaths on the roads occurred at night, when roads are quieter.
Three counties - Galway, Mayo, and Cork - accounted for almost one third of all fatalities.
As of this morning, there were 100 road fatalities, an increase of 11 compared to the same period in 2022.
RSA Chief Executive Sam Waide said the evidence suggests that as a society "we are losing momentum when it comes to road safety - with tragic consequences. If this continues, we could see 168 homes with an empty place at their table this Christmas time."
He said everyone has a duty to do all they can to reverse the trend and save lives.
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Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement, said gardaí are committed to playing their part in keeping the roads safe, adding, "road deaths are a tragedy for all affected.
"The figures published today starkly demonstrate that."
Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, RSA's Chairperson Liz O’Donnell offered her condolences to the families of the two girls who died following a crash in Co Monaghan yesterday.
She said: "When a crash like this happens, it has an impact on hundreds of people and in this case, it definitely will.
"I am just thinking today, as we all are of the parents of, of the children involved, their friends, who are setting out to have a beautiful evening together before they embark on their adult lives."