Gardai launch checkpoint blitz at accident blackspots
TRAFFIC Gardai have launched a checkpoint blitz targeting high-risk accident blackspots.
Operation Focus sees high-visibility 24-hour patrols in 19 of the most dangerous stretches of road across Dublin.
The one-off clampdown around the capital - between 6am today and 6am tomorrow - is to be repeated around the country.
Officers are carrying out roadside tests for speeding, drink and drug-driving, dangerous driving, seat belt use and mobile phone use behind the wheel.
Garda Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahoney said gardai were warning and reminding motorists about the dangers of criminal or careless behaviour on the road.
"It's not just about catching people," he said.
"We are trying to change driver behaviour. If drivers are conscious of the dangers out there, conscious of the fact there is enforcement, there will be continued enforcement, and that if they don't comply with the rules, they will be detected."
Operation Focus includes mandatory alcohol testing during traditionally high-detection periods at the known collision blackspots.
In Dublin that is in the early hours of the morning, while drink-driving checkpoints outside the capital will concentrate on early and late evening periods.
While road death figures have been coming down over recent years, there has already been 22 people killed on Irish roads since the start of this year. The figure is down 14 on the same period last year.
Trends for the first seven weeks of 2012 show nearly half of all fatal road crashes occur between 4pm and 8pm. Almost a third happen in the early hours between midnight and 4am.
Young male drivers account for nearly a quarter of the 22 road deaths so far this year.