Tuesday 17 January 2017

Complacency costing lives on our roads

Published 31/10/2015 | 02:30

Gay Byrne
Gay Byrne

Road fatalities were centre stage this week. Gillian Treacy's victim impact statement at Portlaoise Circuit Court revealed the full horror of the car crash that killed her son Ciaran. The raw emotions of pain and grief expressed by the family at the loss of their beautiful son Ciaran were truly heart-rending. Drink-driving simply isn't under control.

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Let's look at the drunk-driving clampdown last Christmas: 37,500 were motorists stopped at checkpoints; 14,000 breathalysed; 700 failed tests - and only 200 were convicted in court. Over the past two-and-a-half years, a minority of drivers over the limit have been punished, with less than 40pc facing conviction. Why should this be so? Answers are in short supply.

Gay Byrne rightly claims that the number of visible Garda patrols has declined in line with cutbacks. Those socialising are more minded to take a chance on not meeting a checkpoint. It doesn't look great. Detection levels appear reduced. Prosecutions aren't uniformly pursued. And there seems to be a plethora of bizarre excuses for not serving summonses, some of which include insufficient addresses, incomplete information and wayward post.

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