West Cork road to be surveyed after unfair penalty points claim

Cork County Council engineers are to survey a section of road in West Cork where it is claimed motorists are getting unnecessary speeding fines and penalty points.

West Cork road to be surveyed after unfair penalty points claim

The issue was raised at the council’s western committee by Cllr Joe Carroll (FF), who said he had had numerous complaints from motorists who were caught by gardaí “overtaking slow-moving traffic” on the R586 from Dunmanway to Drimoleague.

Mr Carroll said the problem area was just outside of Dunmanway, where a 700m section of “clear vision” road was marked with a continuous white line.

He said he had travelled the road between Dunmanway and Drimoleague and there was 6km of continuous white line on it, and this was not warranted in many places, and especially just outside of Dunmanway.

“Motorists are continuously being penalised for overtaking on this road, which is very unfair and unnecessary. An amount of people have come to me about it after they’ve received fines and penalty points.

“If you’re stuck behind a tractor, you can’t pass it or you’re breaking a law. One driver passed a car doing 30mph on the straight 700m stretch. They were stopped by a garda who said, ‘don’t blame me, blame the council’. That person got an €80 fine and three penalty points. This has to be looked at immediately.”

Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG)
Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG)

He said there was a similar problem on parts of the Enniskeane-Bandon road and wanted council officials to survey them.

Cllr Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (FF) seconded his call, while Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG) said: “Obviously we need to ensure safety, but common sense seems to have gone out the window in places.”

Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said slow drivers lead to frustration for those queuing behind them. “It’s a very wide section of road coming out of Dunmanway. I’d welcome a review of the section,” he said.

Cllr Paul Hayes (SF)
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF)

Cllr Michael Collins (Ind) echoed his sentiments. He was told by council officials at the meeting in Clonakilty that area engineering staff would look at the road.

Mr Carroll welcomed that news, saying: “I want to save people from getting penalty points they shouldn’t be getting.”

Tom Stritch, the council’s director of roads, said council engineers were currently carrying out a countywide speed limit review.

He was urged by Cllr Rachel McCarthy (SF), Cllr Tim Lombard (FG) and Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG) to look at the speed limit at “chip van corner” to the west of Innishannon, where there were more accidents recently.

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