Traffic corps keeps 80 of extra 150 officers

The depleted Garda Traffic Corps has managed to hang on to only around 80 of the 150 extra personnel it was assigned in 2018, the Irish Examiner understands.

Traffic corps keeps 80 of extra 150 officers

The depleted Garda Traffic Corps has managed to hang on to only around 80 of the 150 extra personnel it was assigned in 2018, the Irish Examiner understands.

It comes as provisional figures indicate there were five fewer road deaths this year compared to 2017.

This includes the double tragedy on the roads yesterday, with one fatality in Cork and a second in Co Limerick.

At 7am a man in his 30s died in a single-vehicle collision on the Old Dublin Rd near Glanmire. Around lunchtime, a motorcyclist in his 50s died after colliding with a car and another motorcyclist on the N69 between Tarbert and Glin.

According to a Garda Inspectorate report earlier this month, the Garda Traffic Corps (renamed Road Policing Units) saw its strength cut from 994 in 2011 to 666 in 2018. But Garda figures put the current strength now at around 740.

Garda figures show road fatalities fell from 279 in 2008 to 162 in 2012, rising to 188 in 2013 and 193 in 2014. The figure fell to 162 in 2015, rising to 186 in 2016. It dropped to 156 in 2017, with an estimated 151 to date in 2018.

Garda bosses committed to increase road policing numbers by 10% in 2017 and 10% in 2018.

The Irish Examiner understands the 150 additional officers assigned to road policing in 2018 translated into a net increase of around 80.

This is due to various competitions in the organisation, including for promotions and national units. The strength now stands at 743.

Some 200 gardaí are due to be allocated in 2019 (net rise of around 150). The target is to reach 1,035 by end of 2021.

The renamed Road Policing Unit was to reflect a wider remit than just traffic, including crime detection.

More in this section