| 14.7°C Dublin

Garda cuts costing lives on our roads, says Byrne

GAY Byrne says dwindling resources and staff cuts are making it difficult for gardai to enforce road safety rules.

The Road Safety Authority chairman appeared on TV3's The Morning Show to highlight Operation Slow Down, a garda-led initiative aimed at reducing the number of speed-related crashes.

The veteran broadcaster said the operation, which saw extra checkpoints across the country's secondary roads and which ran from yesterday until 7am today, was vital, as the number of road deaths had increased over the same period last year.

But the former Late Late Show presenter admitted he was baffled as to what had caused the rise in the number of fatalities, following last year's record low of 186.

And he admitted that Co Donegal, where he has a holiday home, still has the most dangerous motorists in the country, where, he said, "they drive like lunatics".

But he said: "There is a perception from the beginning of the year that enforcement by the An Garda Siochana is down. Perhaps it is and they're suffering like everyone else is, because staff numbers are down and traffic corps numbers are down and they're struggling with the resources they have. But they're out there and they are working."

hnews@herald.ie