Saturday 22 October 2016

Gardai promising 'zero tolerance' in bank holiday blitz

Garda checkpoint
Garda checkpoint

GARDAI have clocked motorists travelling at almost three times the speed limit on some of the busiest roads in Dublin.

In one case, a motorist was clocked travelling at 140kph on the Cappagh Road in Dublin 11 where a maximum limit of 50kph applies.

In another, a driver was caught doing 146kph on the Naas Road. The limit is 60kph.

The terrifying lack of awareness of the dangers involved in speeding was revealed as gardai launched an enforcement campaign for the June bank holiday weekend.

An analysis of the highest speed detections per garda division reveals that the highest speed recorded was 195kph at Ballacolla in Laois, where a 120kph limit applies, followed by 189kph at Keadue in Donegal, where the limit is 100kph.

Chief Superintendent Mark Curran from the Garda National Traffic Bureau said that speeding was the main cause of road traffic collisions, and that some of the worst offenders not only faced the imposition of penalty points on their licence, but also being charged with dangerous driving.

"Already there has been in excess of 70,000 drivers detected speeding in 2015, with the vast majority travelling far in excess of what is legally permitted including one driver detected travelling at nearly 200kph," he said.

"This is incredibly dangerous and totally unacceptable."

While the number of people dying on the roads has fallen after increases in 2013 and 2014, some 59 people had already been killed so far this year - a drop of 12 on the same period in 2014.

"It is an encouraging sign but we're concerned about complacency, particularly as we go into a dangerous period on the roads."

He added that more than 7,500 drivers were clocked travelling at 30kph or more above posted speed limits, with 420 travelling at 50kph or more.

There were 11 cases of serious injury and two fatalities on the June bank holiday weekend last year, and figures show that June, July and August are among the most dangerous months on the road.

A total of 256 people have died in these three months over the last five years - this means 51 could die over the coming months.

In Dublin, some 24 were killed over the period - the second highest rate in the State.


"People assume there are more risks in the wintertime because of poor weather, poor road conditions and more hours of darkness but the opposite is true," Road Safety Authority chief executive Moyagh Murdock said.

"Summertime is more dangerous, probably because there are no obvious dangers, the weather is fine and days brighter so we relax our guard. But from the June bank holiday weekend onwards we really do need to have road safety at the top of our minds."

The highest number of fatalities over the summer months occurred in Cork, with 25, followed by Dublin with 24. Donegal followed with 22 deaths.

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