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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020
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Gardaí catch motorist travelling at 202km/h on Dublin's M50

‘National Slow Down Day’ is taking place from 7am today until 7am tomorrow.

File photo of a checkpoint on O'Connell Street in Dublin city on 15 May.
File photo of a checkpoint on O'Connell Street in Dublin city on 15 May.
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Updated Fri 2:32 PM

A MOTORIST HAS been caught driving 202km/h on the M50 today, as gardaí warn there has been an increase in speeds due to the lack of traffic on the roads. 

‘National Slow Down Day’ – a collaboration between An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and others – is taking place from 7am today until 7am tomorrow.

Gardaí are asking motorists to be mindful of more pedestrians and cyclists are on Irish roads due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since 7am, gardaí have checked the speed of 44,105 vehicles. 

A total of 349 vehicles have been detected travelling in excess of the applicable speed limit. 

One person was found driving at 202km/h on the M50 this morning, and gardaí said they now face “a hefty find and possible disqualification from driving”.

Gardaí have this afternoon released some other “notable detections” of speeding since 7am: 

  • 101km/h in a 60km/h zone on the Katherine Tynan Road in Dublin
  • 124km/h in an 80km/h zone on the M50 at Kilmore Big in Dublin
  • 128km/h in a 100km/h zone on the N4 at Clongawny, Mullingar in Westmeath
  • 85km/h in a 60km/h zone on the Old Airport Road in Dublin
  • 121km/h in a 100km/h zone on the N11 at Kilmurry North in Wicklow

Fatalities

Despite the slowdown in activity over the past couple of months, there have been 57 fatalities on Irish roads this year, an increase of six deaths on the same period last year. Pedestrians account for 30% of all fatalities.

Speed is deemed to be a contributory factor in about one-third of all fatal collisions, according to RSA analysis.

Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary said that despite recent reductions in traffic due to the Covid-19 restrictions, “we have continued to see a small percentage of motorists who travel at excessively high speeds both in urban and rural areas”.

“In these times with more vulnerable persons on our roads, pedestrians and cyclists, we appeal to motorists to be aware of the posted speed limits and also while travelling to be conscious of the presence of other road users,” Cleary said. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, Superintendent Eddie Golden said there has been an increase in speeding from motorists. 

“Unfortunately we have seen an increase, even during the lockdown period. And again, it’s a combination of factors really but speed has been one of those during the last number of months,” he said. 

We found that there has been an increase across all the different speed zones and people obviously are taking the chance with the more open roads, and not having probably traffic in front of them, to speed up. And that’s a major problem for us. 

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Social distancing

Speaking ahead of today’s operation, John Caulfield, interim CEO of the RSA, said: “Even though traffic volumes have reduced, the need for drivers to slow down has never been greater. Anyone out driving will probably encounter large numbers of people out walking, jogging and cycling.”

Caulfield stated that these road users “will probably need to social distance too when sharing the road”.

“This means that drivers really need to be alert to their presence. Care also needs to be taken by pedestrians, to ensure their safety, by using a footpath. Where there is none, they need to walk as near as possible to the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic.”

Caulfield added that the speed at which a collision occurs “determines the severity of that crash”.

“For example, if a pedestrian or cyclist is hit at 60km/h they only have a 10% chance of survival, but if hit at 30km/h they have a 90% chance of surviving.

“By slowing down, a driver will have more time and space to react to any potential hazard on the road. It also increases the likelihood of surviving a crash,” Caulfield said.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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