‘Absolutely staggering’ – motorists clocked speeding way over legal limit on Wicklow roads during ‘lockdown’
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have expressed concern at the number of drivers being detected driving at excessive speeds on Wicklow roads.
Sixteen pedestrians nationally have been killed up to the 29 April 2020 – double the amount of deaths recorded up to the same period last year. Six pedestrians alone have died since the schools were closed in the middle of March.
The authorities have also expressed serious concern at the number of motorists who, despite the reduced amount of traffic on the road, are driving way in excess of the legal speed limit.
On one day last week over a short period of time, one driver was clocked doing 50% over the speed limit on the R725 at Rathdrum, while another driver was clocked at nearly 160kph on the M11 motorway in Glenealy, county Wicklow.
The RSA has called on motorists to slow down and expect to encounter more pedestrians and cyclists than normal on their journeys. They also urged people to never drive while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Transport Minister Shane Ross said: “It is absolutely staggering that in this time of crisis and loss, there are people still driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
“The high volume of intoxicated driving – little changed from before the COVID restrictions – may be an indicator that people who are willing to behave irresponsibly by driving after taking intoxicants are also the people most likely to breach COVID restrictions and take unnecessary journeys. This behaviour must stop.
“It is critical that we all practice good road safety habits, so we don’t add to the workload of our front-line health care workers who are trying to deal with and contain the COVID19 pandemic,” he added.
A total of 54 people have died on Irish roads so far in 2020, seven more than last year for the same period.