Thursday 22 February 2018

'Worrying' drop in number of gardai dedicated to road safety - RSA's Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell
Liz O'Donnell

Paul Melia Environment Correspondent

THE ROAD Safety Authority (RSA) has raised major concerns about a “worrying” drop in the number of Gardai dedicated to road safety.

Chair of the RSA, Liz O’Donnell, said that a “visible” police presence was essential to change people’s behaviour, and that there was a need for additional resources to police the roads.

“The RSA notes the release of figures indicating that the number of Gardaí in the Traffic Corps has fallen from 1,200 in 2009 to approximately 750 in 2014. This drop in Traffic Corps numbers is a very worrying trend,” she said.

“A highly visible presence of Gardaí on the road, plus the fear of enforcement, is the single biggest factor in changing people’s behaviour when using the road.

Read more here: Road deaths up on last year with 196 fatalities 

“The men and women in An Garda Síochána who enforce traffic laws should be very proud of their contribution to saving lives and we owe them a great debt. They are doing a brilliant job with the resources available.”

But she added: “ It is vital that the necessary human and technical resources are made available, to grow the number of Gardaí in the Traffic Corps.

Read more here: Drivers and cyclists need to make New Year's resolution: To share the road and obey the rules 

“The RSA acknowledges that recruitment and training of new Gardaí has recommenced and would request that as a priority, road safety policing and the provision of new resources to the Traffic Corps be prioritised.”

Ms O’Donnell’s comment come as the death toll on the roads stands at 15 so far this year. This is a drop of six on the same period of 2014.

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