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Detection rate for speeding in Galway down by half in past year


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Detection rate for speeding in Galway down by half in past year Detection rate for speeding in Galway down by half in past year

The detection rate for speeding offences has tumbled by more than half in the space of a year, a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee was told.

Members expressed shock at the reduction in detection, with the numbers down by 52% – at a time when heavier enforcement was being called for, with the introduction of the new 30km/h city limit.

Between January and September, 2,714 drivers were caught driving in excess of the speed limit compared to 5,701 in the same period last year.

Cllr Alan Curran (Soc Dem) asked if more could be done to target early-morning speeders, an issue which, he said, was created by quieter roads.

Chief Supt Roche said the majority of speed detection was now carried out by ‘Go Safe’ vans and while gardaí were asked for their opinion on the various locations for the vans, their positioning was determined by the Road Safety Authority.

Chairperson of the JPC, Cllr Niall McNelis (Lab) said a campaign was required to reinforce the existence of the new 30km/h zone and said Go Safe vans were required in a number of locations in the city where there were repeated instances of speeding.

At the same time, there was a surge in the rate detection for driving while using a phone, up by 55% to 503 incidents.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said this was a concerning trend.

“My own view is that anybody caught with a mobile phone while driving in this day and age should be prosecuted . . . it could cause death,” he said.

Chief Supt Roche said the use of phones while driving was highly dangerous, but measures to detect it had increased.

“People are still using mobile phones – they’re texting and reading emails,” he said, adding that a new plain-clothes car was aiding with spotting the culprits.

Elsewhere in the road crime statistics, detection of driving without insurance was also down by 18% to 79; fines issued to cyclists fell by 45% to 22; and the number of parking tickets issued by gardaí was down by 15% to 487.

It was clarified that parking fines issued by the City Council wardens were treated separately and, as reported in the City Tribune previously, more than 3,000 fines were issued by City Hall in September.

Speaking at the JPC meeting, Acting Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Patricia Philbin, said there were 13 wardens employed by the local authority – a full complement.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) blasted the disregard for parking regulations in the city and said events promoted by the Council provided photo opportunities and little else.

“Every year, we pay lip service to ‘Make Way Day’,” he said, referring to a day which seeks to highlight the impact of illegal parking on those with restricted mobility.

“People turn up to get their photos in the paper and the following day, everyone goes back to normal,” said Cllr Fahy, adding that he has “given up on” attending the Council’s event to mark the day.

Director of Services Brian Barrett disputed a suggestion that “nothing is being done” but conceeded “maybe there is more to be done”.

Galway City Community Network representative on the JPC, Tommy Flaherty said regular complaints to City Hall about illegal parking were being ignored, even when it was the Council’s own vehicles that were found to be illegally parked on footpaths.

“People in wheelchairs and pushing buggies should not be forced out onto the road,” he said.

Ms Philbin said: “If there is an issue with City vans parking on the footpath, we will address that.”

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