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Gardai Appeal for Vigilance on Roads as Tragic Start to 2019 Continues

With ten people losing their lives on Irish roads between the 24 th and 28th of January, the latest being 4 young men in County Donegal, Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau (GNRPB) reiterated the need for all stakeholders to work together to build awareness and combat road fatalities.

“An Garda Síochána is deeply saddened by the horrific death toll on Irish road over the past week. I want to take this opportunity to send our condolences to all of those affected by these tragic events. An Garda Síochána views any road death as one to many and we will continue to work together with our partners in road safety to build on the reduction in road deaths evidenced over the past number of years,” Chief Superintendent Murphy said.

“While we welcome the reduction of fatalities that we have witnessed over the past two years, events over the past week demonstrate that we cannot afford to be complacent in any manner and I appeal to all roads users to be extra vigilant – in particular on dark evenings and while using unlit or poorly lit roads. Be safe, be seen, be careful and be on the alert for other road users,” he added.

The Chief Superintendent said that it is not appropriate to comment at this time on recent fatal collisions as they are subject to forensic collision investigations. Gardai say that they will continue to focus on the prime factors that lead to road traffic collisions, primarily driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and speeding.

Since the start of the year, 634 motorists have been arrested for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, with three arrested at one checkpoint in Cavan over the past week alone. Chief Superintendent Murphy said that Gardai would continue its policy of testing as many motorists as possible at mandatory checkpoints, sites of collisions or sites where traffic offences have been committed.

“We will also continue to work with our partners in ‘GoSafe’ to tackle the dangers associated with speed. The development of the safety camera zones has had an enormous impact on safety of our roads. This combined with An Garda Síochána’s own speed enforcement activities continues to form a key part of our strategy to reduce road deaths,” he added.

To date in 2019, 9,343 speeding offences have been detected from the almost three million motorists who have been monitored by the road camera network. This indicates a high level of compliance but Gardai said that any driver who broke the rules while driving was not just endangering themselves but other road users and that there was zero tolerance in this regard.

Adding to the debate which has followed the recent tragedies on Irish roads, Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority, extended her sympathies to the bereaved, and called for Gardai to be able to conduct their investigations thoroughly before judgement was reached in any of the recent fatal incidents.

“In the meantime, I hope that this appalling loss of life will serve as a reminder to us all that life is fragile and using the roads is the most dangerous thing we do each day. Nobody ever believes it will happen to them but tragedy can strike anywhere at any time on the road. We need to remember this every time we set out on a journey,” she added.

Gardai have also released figures relating to the data collected at their checkpoints so far in 2019:

Mandatory Intoxicant Checkpoints to date 2019

Checkpoints conducted: 5,708
Breath Tests Conducted: 27,665
Oral Fluid Tests Conducted: 193

Top Speeds by speed band in Safety Camera Zones to date in 2019

·122 km/h in a 50 km/h zone on the N52 at Ardcroney, Tipperary
·136 km/h in a 60 km/h zone on the M7 at Ladytown, Naas, Kildare
·161 km/h in a 80 km/h zone on the R335 at Glaspatrick, Murrisk, Mayo
·199 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the N21 at Reens West Rathkeale, Limerick
·164 km/h in a 120 km/h zone on the M1 at Donabate, Dublin

Top Speed detected by An Garda Síochána

·200 km/h in a 100km/h zone on Catleisland to Limerick Road (26/1/2019)

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