Crackdown on tinted windows and noisy engines
Published 11/03/2011 | 05:00
Boy racers will be fined up to €1,000 if they are caught driving a car with blacked-out windows and engines that exceed the allowed noise limits, as part of a new garda crackdown.
Gardai are carrying out roadside tests on customised cars to see if tinted windows and loud exhausts comply with safety rules introduced last year as part of the National Car Test (NCT).
The owners of cars that fail the tests face prosecution and fines of up to €1,000, and/or a prison sentence, if they refuse to fix the problem.
Excessively-tinted windscreens pose a significant safety hazard because motorists cannot see optimally in poor light or while driving at night.
Loud exhausts are associated with boy racers, and are the cause of numerous complaints to gardai.
Yesterday, two new pieces of equipment were unveiled to help gardai mount a major crackdown: Tintman light monitors and noise-level meters will be used during roadside checks.
"Silencers are being modified and levels above 99 decibels can result in prosecution," said assistant commissioner John Twomey .
"Excessive tinting is a safety issue, and a car (which fails the test) can be considered defective and the driver can be told to park it up for the night."
As a result, the windows would have to be changed and the vehicle then produced at a station, for the driver to continue driving.
The crackdown comes as new figures show that the number of people killed on the roads has risen in the first few months of 2011.
According to the garda press office, 45 people have been killed so far this year.
This is an increase of 12 on the same period in 2010.
New figures also show:
- The number of pedestrians killed has risen by 3.5pc, and motorcycle fatalities are up 6pc.
- Some 2,000 people have been issued with penalty points for not wearing a seatbelt, and another 5,500 for the illegal use of a mobile phone while they are driving.
- 47,254 speeding notices were issued last year, up 139pc on 2009.
- There were 11,000 checkpoints last year, resulting in 88,240 people being breath- tested -- an increase of 44pc.
- 1,845 people were arrested for drink-driving.
However, there has been a fall in the number of people drinking and driving. In 2007, one in every 200 drivers tested at checkpoints was positive. Today, it's one in 588.