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Operation Slow Down is targeting motorists at the start of the summer bank holiday

Operation Slow Down is targeting motorists at the start of the summer bank holiday

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Operation Slow Down is targeting motorists at the start of the summer bank holiday

Extra gardai will be on the roads this weekend as part of a nationwide crackdown on speeding.

Operation Slow Down is targeting motorists at the start of the summer bank holiday, which is one of the deadliest times to travel, according to the force.

Checkpoints and speed traps will be rolled out at 727 locations around the country between 7am on Friday until the same time the next morning.

Health minister James Reilly said the campaign was focusing particularly on men and younger drivers.

"It's very clear from the statistics we see that this is a very dangerous time of year with a lot of people on the road," he said.

"The message, I suppose primarily aimed at younger men who tend to take risks, is this is time to take care."

During a similar operation last July, speed vans monitored 72,000 vehicles. More than 1,800 fixed charge notices were issued during the Friday and Saturday.

Garda assistant commissioner Gerard Phillips said this year's bank holiday campaign was only part of an overall operation during the month of June.

"Twenty-six people were tragically killed in the month of June 2012, the highest of any month since October 2010," he said.

"Six people were killed over last year's June bank holiday alone. We do not want that repeated ever again. Slowing down saves lives, it's as simple as that."