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Warning: quiet roads with less traffic are not a licence to speed

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Checkpoint: Gardaí on the N11 at Bray. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Checkpoint: Gardaí on the N11 at Bray. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Checkpoint: Gardaí on the N11 at Bray. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Just because the roads are less congested does not give you a licence to speed.

That is the stark warning all drivers need to heed now in the face of frightening evidence that some reckless motorists are using quieter, nearly traffic-free routes to abuse safety by completely ignoring speed limits.

Gardaí recently posted a sobering video to that effect on their Twitter account.

In it they provided an update on roads policing enforcement since Covid-19 restrictions were put in place.

The assessment says that despite traffic levels dropping by around 70pc, there are still people putting their lives, and those of others, at risk by speeding, drink-driving and-drug-driving.

Some people are using quieter roads to drive at vastly excessive speeds and seem to be a particular problem.

Gardaí are detecting some speedsters travelling so fast their behaviour is both irresponsible and life-threatening.

Examples include the likes of those recently detected at motorway speeds of 115kmh in a 50kmh zone on the R111, Mespil Road, Dublin.

And then there is the matter of a motorist driving at 101kmh in a 50kmh zone on the R420 at Clara, Co Offaly.

There is a real concern about this carry-on because there has been a doubling in the number of pedestrians killed on the roads so far this year.

Gardaí have also recorded an increase in the number of drivers detected under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).

Arrests for drink driving were at the same level in April 2020 as they were in April 2019 despite fewer cars being on the road.

And the number of drivers testing positive for the presence of controlled drugs has increased.

It is worth repeating: Just because the roads are less congested does not give you licence to speed or drive while impaired through drink or drugs.

Those who are using the current pandemic difficulties as an opportunity to get away with irresponsible behaviour need to understand that gardaí are continuing to enforce our road-safety laws.

With a greater number of Garda checkpoints on the roads countrywide, there is a greater chance of detection.

And we should remember that there are more people out walking and cycling too.

Drivers need to slow down and anticipate encountering them in greater numbers.

Watch out for pedestrians who are social distancing in particular.

Obviously, pedestrians need to walk on footpaths where possible.

Where there isn't one, they should walk on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic.

If social distancing, be careful every time you step off the footpath that you are not putting yourself or others at risk.

Indo Motoring