Sunday 25 February 2018

'Computer nerds' and lack of 'common sense' creating safety issues in floods - garda

Flood waters in Cahermore near Kinvara Co. Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
Flood waters in Cahermore near Kinvara Co. Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

AN Garda Síochána has warned that "computer nerds" are creating safety issues on the country's roads by over-relying on their satellite navigation systems.

At a press conference in Dublin this afternoon, Superintendent John Ferris said motorists are putting the safety of others at risk by failing to show “common sense” during the floods.

“We have computer nerds and people who won’t use common sense and they are following the satellite navigation system and it tells them to turn this way and that way, and they are ignoring the road signs that An Garda Síochána and the local authorities have agreed,” Supt Ferris said.

“There are potholes, there is road damage there and people are driving way too fast, then they damage their car, they block what is already a small road and that causes difficulty for everybody.

“So, we’d ask people to use common sense, recognise the condition of the road, recognise it might be a minor road you are on and basically reduce the speed and use common sense.”

The senior garda officer made the bizarre remark following a meeting of the National Coordination Group.

After a crisis that has now lasted 32 days, group chairman John Barry told reporters that there is now a sense of optimism that the situation is improving.

“There are signs that the situation is no longer escalating,” he added.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) said that all of the gauges along the Shannon catchment have fallen for the first time in several days.

Despite the positive signs, several areas around the country are still in a severe flood situation.

And there is more heavy rain due for coastal countries in particular along the west and south of the country.

“The emphasis over the next number of nights will be cold, frosty conditions. It will be quite a wintry mix of hail and sleet and possibly some snow on higher ground at time,” said Met Éireann forecaster Joan Blackburn.

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