An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority have urged drivers and riders to slow down this October Bank Holiday as new figures show that nearly 140,000 fixed charge notices have been issued for speeding from January to September this year. From October 21 to November 3, An Garda Síochána will be intensively targeting drivers and riders who speed.
For the past seven years, there has been a year on year decrease in the number of road fatalities in Ireland. However, as of the 23rd October 2013, there have been 13 more fatalities on our roads than at this time last year. This brings to 153, the number of people killed in road traffic collisions to date. 161 people lost their lives on Irish roads in 2012.
To date in 2013, 83% of fatalities have either been a driver, a passenger or a motorcyclist (23, up from 16 in total for 2012). Similarly nearly 20% of fatalities have occurred on a Friday. The time period of 2pm-6pm everyday, accounts for almost a third (28%) of all fatal road traffic collisions. Excessive or inappropriate speed remains a significant contributory factor in road traffic collisions.
While the majority of drivers and riders drive safely and within applicable speed limits, there are however many who do not. From 1st January -30th September this year, a total of 138,599 fixed charge notices were issued for speeding. 109,470 of those were "non-intercept” detections* (Garda and Go-Safe), and 29,129 were "intercept” detections*.
On examination, the following results were found: overall 6% (8,237) of detections were made between 1 – 9 km/h above the posted speed limit; the vast majority of detections, 80% (111,044) were made between 10 and 29 km/h above the posted speed limit; and 14%, (19,302) of detections were for speeds in excess of 30 km/h above the limit. 1172 detections were for speeds in excess of 50 km/h above the limit
Further examination also found that in higher speed limits zones, offending motorists are more likely to be detected at higher speeds.
Until November 3, each Garda Division will carry out a series of targeted, high visibility checkpoints focussing on speeding and roads policing enforcement. These will incorporate both Divisional and District personnel, including Traffic Corps members. Each checkpoint will last for one hour. This high visibility enforcement activity aims to modify driver behaviour, identify breaches of all road traffic legislation and make the roads safer for all.
Chief Superintendent Michael O’ Sullivan, Garda National Traffic Bureau, said it is disappointing that some drivers continue to be detected at a considerably higher speed than is legally permitted.
"There are drivers out there sharing the road with you and I that have been intercepted travelling at speeds in excess of 200 km/h or in other cases three and even four times the posted limit. This is totally unacceptable in every sense. (*See attached Regional "worst offender” list). Every driver or rider, and indeed every road user, must always take personal responsibility for how they act on the road. Excessive or inappropriate speed is a major contributory factor in road traffic collisions. For the next 2 weeks, An Garda Síochána will intensively target those who believe they can act irresponsibly. This high risk behaviour needs to change.”
In relation to the Bank Holiday period, Chief Superintendent O’ Sullivan added: "Many people will take to the roads over the Bank Holiday period, especially with the schools on mid term break. It is now colder, wetter, and darker for longer. Our appeal to the public is to take their time on the roads and do everything they can to increase their, and others safety, no matter how long or short the journey is. Reducing speed saves lives; there is no doubt about that. Tragically an additional 13 people have lost their lives on Irish roads so far in 2013, compared to this date last year. We all need to work harder to reduce the number and severity of road traffic collisions – let’s start by supporting the National "Slow Down” day this Friday and making the October Bank Holiday period a safe one.”