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Sunday 1 October 2023 Dublin: 18°C
Leon Farrell/
# slow down
Gardaí clamp down on speeding ahead of bank holiday weekend with 24-hour enforcement campaign
Gardai revealed that on their weekend observations, 93% of cars broke the speed limit.

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána urged drivers to slow down and always choose a speed that is appropriate to the driving conditions at an event in NUI Galway today.

Gardaí are mounting a national speed enforcement operation called ‘Slow Down Day’, for a 24 hour period which started at 7am this morning until 7am tomorrow.

Speed enforcement during ‘Slow Down Day’ will consist of high visibility speed enforcement in 1,322 speed enforcement zones. 

Gardaí will also be focusing on enforcement of speed limits during the bank holiday weekend in conjunction with the RSA’s June Bank Holiday Road Safety Appeal.

During the launch the RSA provided figures showing that 13 people had been killed in road traffic accidents and 77 were injured during the past five June Bank Holidays.

To date in 2022 there have been 70 fatalities on the road. This is an increase of 26 deaths compared to the same date last year.

The agency launched its ‘Profile of speeding in Ireland’ report today which showed that from 2018-2021 more road fatalities took place on roads with a speed limit of 80 km/h (38%) than any other speed limit.

Meanwhile 46% of injuries happened in areas with limits of 50 km/h or less.

Using 22 locations across the country and observing approximately 5,000 vehicles, the RSA also found that on weekdays 78% of drivers were found to have driven in excess of the posted speed limit of 50km/h.

On weekends, 93% of cars broke the speed limit.

One vehicle was recorded to be moving at 118 km/h, more than double the speed limit for the road it was travelling on.

Speaking at NUI Galway today, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said: “The number of drivers observed speeding in the RSA’s recent study in 50km/h zones is very concerning. These are speed zones that are rich in pedestrians and cyclists, vulnerable road users.

“Reducing the risk posed to vulnerable road users in these speed zones and encouraging safer, greener active travel is one of the key priorities of the new Government Road Safety Strategy. For example, we are reviewing speed limits and examining the possibility of a greater roll-out of 30km/h speed zones, as well as conducting a review of penalties related to speeding.”

The study also found that a quarter of driver fatalities were exceeding a safe speed.

The amount of motorists who believe it was occasionally acceptable to speed was found to be on the rise since 2019.

In 2019, 53% of motorists surveyed said that it was “acceptable to exceed 50km/h speed limits by less than 10 km/h”, which had increased to 63% of motorists last year.

CEO of the Road Safety Authority, Sam Waide, said: “Studies have repeatedly shown that drivers overestimate the amount of time they can gain by speeding. This is known as the speed fallacy. 

“For example, completing an average journey of 14 kilometres at 90km/h instead of 80km/h only saves 1 minute and 8 seconds. So, while you might gain one or two minutes journey time you risk losing your license and potentially your livelihood.”

Meanwhile, Dublin Port Company also urged the public to be safe on the bank holiday weekend by launching a water safety campaign with comedians Darren Conway and Joe McGucken.

Darren_and_Joe_07 Dublin Port Company Joe McGucken and Darren Conway. Dublin Port Company

The message comes after a new survey undertaken by DPC indicated that only half of the respondents scored themselves as “well attuned” when they were asked about water safety.

Dublin Port Harbour Master, Captain Michael McKenna, said: “With almost 50 ship arrivals or departures per day, the shipping lanes of Dublin Bay and the River Liffey are very busy, with multiple vessels often moving at the same time. These large ships must navigate within the deep water of the shipping lanes, so it is vital that smaller vessels keep clear and stay safe. 

“We love to see the water enjoyed safely. By being aware of the risks, making safe decisions and having the appropriate safety equipment people can enjoy the magnificent environs of the river and bay.”

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