Members of An Garda Siochána in Cavan have launched their ‘Safe Drive’ campaign as they prepare to ramp up their presence on the county's roads over the Christmas period.
It will involve an increase in the number of high visibility checkpoints by members of the Traffic Corp.
The aim is to clampdown on drunk and drug driving, as well as the so-called ‘life-
saver offences’ including speed, mobile phone use, seat-belts, dangerous driving, as well as lighting and tyre condition.
“It's up to every driver and person who uses the road to know their responsibilities as a road user,” Sergeant James Gallagher told The Anglo-Celt this week.
He added that the campaign concerns not just drivers but other road users too: “Cyclists, pedestrians, as well as farmers moving animals. It's everyone's responsibility on the road to be safe and make it safe for all road users.”
Checkpoints will be mounted in locations where accidents have occurred in the past, with death or serious injuries arising.
“[Checkpoints] will be going on every day and every night from now to the end of December and into the first week of the January. It will entail every town and village in the county,” said Sgt Gallagher, who states the vast majority of drivers are compliant with the rules of the road.
In the 20 minutes the Celt meets with gardaí at their checkpoint at Killygarry on the outskirts of Cavan Town, two unaccompanied learner drivers were pulled over. Sgt Gallagher says major part of the role gardaí play is in educating drivers of rules being broken.
Along with the high tech Drager 5000 drug test equipment, Gardaí are also armed with more conventional pamphlets to hand drivers reminding them of their responsibilities on the road.
“It's that small percentage and we need to be out there so that compliant drivers see we're looking for those committing offence. They get reassurance when they see us out on the road, whether that’s checkpoints, or just
general patrolling of rural areas.”