Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Superintendent Tom Murphy, of the Roads Policing Bureau.
road policing

Gardaí make Electric Picnic appeal as road deaths for August reaches 25

The Garda chief from the roads policing bureau said that Gardaí are playing their part, but that it’s up to everyone to practice road safety.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 1st 2023, 5:16 PM

THE GARDAÍ HAVE urged the public to be aware of road safety whether they are driving, walking, or cycling after the latest road fatality, and ahead of the busy Electric Picnic weekend. 

Superintendent Tom Murphy from the Garda Roads Policing Bureau, speaking at Garda HQ today, said more has to be done to raise road safety awareness. 

In light of the tragic incident that happened at Busáras last night, in which a man in his 20s was killed after being struck by a bus, Superintendent Murphy said it is up to everyone to practice road safety, in order to bring the number of road fatalities down. 

“First and foremost I want to extend on behalf of An Garda Siochana, our sympathies to the families and friends of a young male, who was tragically killed in a collision in Dublin City centre overnight.

“This brings us to a total of 126 fatalities in Ireland this year so far, with 25 in the month of August alone,” he said. 

Superintendent Murphy added that as we come into the winter, it is up to everyone to play their part in practicing road safety. 

“Everyone has a part to play. This time of the year I would ask drivers and vehicle operators to check their vehicles for items that may fail in between NCT testing such as tyres, wiper blades, lighting, and all the run of the mill equipment in a car that plays a role in keeping people safe on our roads,” he said. 

Superintendent Murphy added that he is aware of calls for road policing enforcement to be “stepped up”, including from Minister of State Jack Chambers, but said that Gardaí are “playing our part” when it comes to enforcement, and “out patrolling 24/7″. 

He pointed out that there have been over 100,000 speeding detections, and over 5,000 drunk driving detections, with the latter being on par with the figures from last year. 

“Recently we have seen a lot of single vehicle collisions, and it is hard to say if enforcement could have prevented those cases. That is why road safety awareness is important, especially coming into the winter months,” he added. 

Superintendent Murphy said that making Ireland’s road safer isn’t just down to putting pressure on drivers. He said that cyclists need to ensure that their lights and breaks are working, and that they are able to hear approaching people and traffic. 

He mentioned that cycling a bike with earphones in is a finable offence in Spain, but added that it would be a matter for Government to bring in similar legislation. 

“We need people to check, and double check before they cross the road, or come out of a junction. We need pedestrians walking on dark evenings to avail of high vis jackets, which can be provided by the Road Safety Authority. 

 Superintendent Murphy said that the latest statistics from Transport Infrastructure Ireland have shown that people are not always dropping their speeds in light of bad weather conditions on the M7. 

“We have seen that even in torrential rain, drivers aren’t reducing speed. The M7 has a bit of a microclimate, you get hailstones the size of golf balls, and people should [dropping their speed] down. Although they are not surpassing the speed limit, they still aren’t driving at the appropriate speed for the conditions,” he said. 

The Garda said that campaigns on TV, and on social media to capture the attention of younger audiences do play a role in raising awareness of road safety, but that ultimately it is up to each individual to “take responsibility” for the safety of themselves and others on the roads. 

Superintendent Murphy said that the Speed Limit Review should go someway to improving addressing issues with default speed limits, but that the review is with the Department at this stage. 

He also added that welfare supports, including the option of counselling, are being made available to Gardaí who have attended difficult and challenging car crash scenes in County Tipperary over the last few weeks. 

Superintendent Murphy said it is difficult to “put a finger on” what has caused the rise in road fatalities this year, but suggested that people have steadily been travelling more on the roads since the end of the pandemic. 

He added that it is important for people to disconnect from social media and mobile phones when they are driving, walking or cycling along roads, and to be totally focused on their safety and that of others. 

Electric Picnic-1 Electric Picnic.

Meanwhile, the Road Safety Authority of Ireland (RSA) and An Garda Siochana are urging road users to stay safe on the roads this weekend while the Electric Picnic festival is going on.

The RSA is reminding festival-goers of the risks of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

When the Electric Picnic organisers applied for their license this year, Judge Andrew Cody expressed his concerns about festival-goers driving home on the Monday morning while tired or intoxicated. 

He drew attention to a crash that occurred in 2006 just two miles outside of Portlaoise, in which three young people from Cork lost their lives on the Monday afternoon after another festival. The coroner in the case concluded the crash happened as a result of tiredness. 

In light of these concerns, the bars at Electric Picnic will close an hour earlier on the Sunday night, and on Monday the car parks will remain open until 4pm, to accommodate drivers until they are fit to get behind the wheel. 

Attendees are being asked to plan their journeys to and from the festival and to consider public transport, asking for a lift from someone fit to drive, or taking a taxi if they are under the influence. 

Dedicated public transport routes, along with an allocated drop off area should make taking public transport to the festival easier this year. 

The Gardaí will have a dedicated Traffic Management Plan in place, and they are asking for drivers to familiarise themselves with the route they are taking and the speed limits along it ahead of time. 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel