Motorists urged to focus on road safety

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Gardai on duty near Adare during Operation Focus [Picture: Michael Cowhey}
GARDAI are warning of a major crackdown on motoring offences as part of Operation Focus which got underway earlier this week.

GARDAI are warning of a major crackdown on motoring offences as part of Operation Focus which got underway earlier this week.

For the next two months, gardai will mount extra checkpoints and deploy additional resources across Limerick in an effort to curb the increase in road deaths since the beginning of the year.

Three people have died on Limerick roads so far in 2013, compared to two during the same period last year.

“It’s an operation focussing on road safety issues and the detection and prevention of offences under the road traffic legislation and the aim, obviously, is to prevent further fatalities and serious injury collisions,” said Sgt Richard O’Boyle of the divisional traffic corps.

As part of Operation Focus, further checkpoints will be staged at known accident black spots across the southern garda region between now and the end of June.

In addition to offering road safety advice to motorists, gardai will be particularly focussing on the use of defective vehicles and vehicles which have not passed the NCT.

“The economic recession has obviously impacted negatively on the maintenance of cars and the replacement of cars and the average age of cars on Irish roads is now eight years and this will obviously lead to problems down the road if these vehicles are not properly maintained,” said Sgt O’Boyle.

Motorists are also being warned that while gardai may have issued cautions in the past for certain minor offences, they now face the likelihood of being issued with a fixed-penalty fine or prosecution.

“As regards enforcement, our instructions now are that there will be very little discretion used in our operations. We are going to make prosecutions more prominent to make people think before they go on the road,” said Sgt O’Boyle.

In addition to targeting the use of defective vehicles, gardai say they will also be targeting speeding offences, the non-wearing of seat-belts and the use of mobile phones while driving.

Members of the traffic corps have also been instructed to report any stretches of rural road which they believe are excessively dangerous.