People have been stealing batteries out of the flashing speed-warning signs in parts of North Cork, potentially endangering road users and pedestrians alike.
A county councillor said he had been informed that a sign had been damaged outside Glantane National School after thieves broke into the back of it and stole the batteries.
Fine Gael councillor Tony O’Shea was contacted by locals and reported the damage to Cork County Council staff.
When he did so, the officials informed him that similar thefts had occurred in the villages of Bweeng and Dromahane, located near Mallow.
“I was saddened when I was told that Cork County Council is having these problems,” said Mr O’Shea.
“These signs have been partly funded by community councils and parents’ associations around the country to alert people to slow down.
“The speed signs display the speed of the motorist; if the motorist exceeds the speed limit then it flashes in red.
“The goal here is to alert motorists about their speed and to slow down.
“These signs are commonly deployed in school zones and areas where there have been a number of accidents reported.”
If a motorist moderates their speed to be at the required limit or below it, a smiley face comes up on the sign.
Roads policing gardaí in the Macroom area recently reported that they had carried out a covert operation to watch how effective the signs were, and concluded that many motorists were slowing down just to get the smiley face on the sign.