Motorists: Not enough gardaí on the roads

Almost three-quarters of motorists feel there are not enough gardaí enforcing traffic laws.

Motorists: Not enough gardaí on the roads

Unpublished research carried out by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) found that two-thirds (64%) of motorists feel there are not enough gardaí enforcing speed limits. The figure is up from 51% in 2014.

A total of 71% of those surveyed said there were not enough gardaí policing people drink driving, while this rose to 72% in relation to the numbers monitoring mobile phone and dangerous driving offences.

The survey of more than 1,000 people found that one quarter of drivers said they had never met a Garda checkpoint in the previous six months — up from 21% in 2014 and 15% in 2013.

Some eight out of ten drivers said they had observed motorists driving while using a hand-held phone on a weekly basis.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they see someone driving over the speed limit every week, while two-thirds had witnessed examples of dangerous driving.

Just under 40% felt the level of enforcement of road traffic legislation by gardaí had decreased since January of 2014. This figure was 19% in 2014.

Despite this, the RSA data, released to RTÉ under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that the overwhelming majority of road users feel the penalties imposed by the courts (89%) and road traffic laws (91%) have been influential in saving lives on Irish roads.

The research was shared with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan earlier this year.

Responding to the survey findings, founder of the Irish Road Victims Association, Donna Price, hit out at uncaring drivers who continue with dangerous practices while behind the wheel.

She insisted that there should be more high-visibility checks by gardaí in a bid to make roads safer.

“There is not nearly enough of a Garda presence on the roads. Checkpoints are very few and far between and you can travel to Dublin or Wexford and back and not see even one squad car,” Ms Price said.

An Garda Síochána pointed out that there were 7,220 mandatory alcohol checkpoints in place last month. A total of 28,000 breath tests were carried out by members of the force and almost 21,000 fixed-charge notices issued for speeding.

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