Number of speeding motorists up 800% in two years

The estimated number of drivers breaking speed limits on Irish roads has reportedly increased eight-fold in the past two years, despite the introduction of the penalty points scheme.

Reports this morning said the finding was contained in a study due to be published today by the National Roads Authority.

The study has reportedly found that the number of motorists breaking the speed limit on regional roads has increased from an estimated 8% in 2003 to an estimated 63% in 2005.

This would appear to indicate that many drivers are ignoring the new lower speed limit of 80kph (50mph) introduced last year.

It would also appear to show that the Government's efforts to reduce speeding have been a failure.

Questioned on the matter by reporters in Dublin today, Transport Minister Martin Cullen admitted that the public seems to be ignoring campaigns by the National Safety Council.

He said a complete change of mindset was needed to tackle the problem of speeding.

Speaking in the Dáil meanwhile, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said motorists had to take responsibility for their own actions, but the Government would continue to take measures to tackle the problem.

"We're in the process of introducing a co-ordinated series of measures in addition to the measures we've already introduced," he said.

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