Tuesday 17 September 2019

'Traffic policing is an easy target for cuts' - motorists want bigger garda presence on roads

Garda traffic corps
Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Garda traffic corps Photo: Frank Mc Grath

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Almost 90pc of Irish motorists think more investment is needed for road policing, an AA survey has found.

More than half (50.34pc) of the 5,000 Irish motorists surveyed said that they strongly agree that the government needs to commit to increasing Garda manpower and investment in road policing resources. Meanwhile, a further 28.13pc of respondents said they ‘somewhat agreed' with the statement.

The survey also found that a majority of motorists believe garda presence on routes they regularly drive has dropped within the past 12 months.

More than half of those surveyed said that they agreed that garda presence had diminished, with 23.19pc strongly agreeing and a further 28.33pc stating that they somewhat believed this to be true. 

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said that the road policing was a victim of its own success, but that cuts during the recession have yet to be restored.

“Road safety in Ireland has somewhat been a victim of its own success,” he said.  

“Unfortunately, in part because of this success, when cuts were made to garda resources during the recession, traffic policing was almost looked at as a battle won and therefore an easy target for potential cuts.  

“Within the last year, we have seen a commitment from Government to growing the gardai's manpower and improving resources, but unfortunately this process is starting from a relatively low base compared to previous years as a result of cuts made during the worst years of the recession.

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