Why we need a four-lettered word to save more lives on the roads
A RETIRED Garda was among many to respond to last week's 'chilling' prediction of how many will die on our roads this year. Here are his views
Eddie, I have read your article in Motors recently. It was informative and frightening. I follow the subject closely and up to 2013 revelled in the good news on reduced numbers of accidents, deaths etc.
I spent my life as a mid-ranking member of An Garda Siochana, a lot of which was spent on Road Traffic Law enforcement. I respectfully suggest the following:
1. The crazy drivers, riders, cyclists, pedestrians in the main do not read statistics or view the horrors on our screens. They are, in the main, young males.
2. The introduction of the penalty points and related penalties some years ago led to an instant reduction in the carnage. This resulted from beefing up numbers in the Road Traffic Corps throughout the state. Sadly the reduction in numbers of gardai and consequently a reduction in Traffic Corps numbers have coincided in the gradual increase in road deaths over the past 18 months.
3. The outgoing CEO of the RSA, Gay Byrne, correctly pinpoints the absence of gardai from our highways as being mainly the cause.
I will introduce a four-letter word here which will undoubtedly matter. FEAR. Every road user needs to have that word in their head as they head out. Fear of being caught out by a re-vamped traffic unit, fear that around the next bend at every hour of the day or night they will be caught as they offend.
Saturation traffic policing, I call it. The days of cajoling and/or pleading should be over. It should be replaced by instilling FEAR.