Road safety officers have come up with a novel way of ‘fooling’ motorists to slow down today by erecting a life-size cutout of a garda on various routes.

The initiative is being undertaken by Mayo County Council in conjunction with An Garda Síochána as part of an April 1 campaign, ‘Don’t be fooled — speed kills’.

The cutouts of Garda Emma Conneely of the Castlebar traffic corps with a speed gun will be strategically placed at known speed areas around the county.

Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council, said today’s scheme was aimed at highlighting speeding and making drivers more aware.

“The purpose of the cutout is to let people know the only ones they are fooling when they are speeding are themselves,” he said.

“The point we were trying to get across is that when you speed, you are putting yourself and others at risk.

“It’s not just about avoiding penalty points for speeding, it’s about driving safer at all times. We also want to create a safer environment for other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians to encourage smarter travel.”

Supt Joseph McKenna said he hoped that the novel scheme would increase road safety awareness and get drivers to slow down.

“Over 150,000 people got speeding fines in Ireland last year,” he said. “We would like to reduce the figure in Co Mayo because speed plays such a major role in causing collisions on the road.

“It is all about raising awareness. We can all play our part in reducing fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.”


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