Editorial: Dangerous drivers seem to be getting the message
If we are to use penalty points as a measurement of poor driving, then the motorists of Clare, Longford, Kildare, Wicklow, Meath and Roscommon top the league of bad drivers in Ireland.
In comparison, Donegal drivers are the safest, followed by the drivers of Monaghan, Mayo, Kerry and North Tipperary.
This is based on an analysis of penalty points issued to drivers in each local authority area between January 2011 and November of 2013. There are, of course, many other measurements for bad and dangerous driving.
And of course penalty points depend to a great extent on the level of enforcement by various garda divisions.
Penalty points are designed as a preventative road safety measure, says a spokesman for the Road Safety Authority (RSA). "What you see is that the majority of people with points have two, so it would seem to be a case that it's once bitten, twice shy. The vast majority of people are getting the message."
However, when it comes to obeying red lights adjacent to Luas lines in Dublin, drivers are certainly not getting the message.
As any driver who obeys the traffic lights will testify, there are invariably one or two drivers who speed through the red in the seconds after it turns. In the case of the Luas, a camera in central Dublin shows an average of 5.5 incidents a day of drivers breaking the lights and crossing tram lines, half of them over five seconds after the lights have turned red.
Not surprisingly, there were 22 collisions involving motorists and trams beside red light junctions in the city this year.