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Hold up Almost half of Irish motorists were stopped at garda checkpoints in January

The vast majority of those stopped (89.39pc) were asked about the purpose of their journey and whether it complied with current Covid-19 restrictions.

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Gardai carry out checkpoints in Dublin

Gardai carry out checkpoints in Dublin

Gardai carry out checkpoints in Dublin

Close to half of Irish motorists were stopped at a garda checkpoint in January, according to a new survey from AA Ireland.

In total, over 6,000 drivers took part, 45.41pc of whom said they’d been stopped at a checkpoint in the last month.

After the new year, more checkpoints were put in place as harsher restrictions were placed on non-essential travel.

As such, only 16.49pc of motorists reported being stopped at a checkpoint one to three months ago.

There are some drivers who have never been stopped, although they represent a very small minority - only 4.19pc.

The vast majority of those stopped (89.39pc) were asked about the purpose of their journey and whether it complied with current Covid-19 restrictions.

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Gardaí man a Covid-19 checkpoint at the entrance to Dublin Airport's Terminal 1. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Gardaí man a Covid-19 checkpoint at the entrance to Dublin Airport's Terminal 1. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Gardaí man a Covid-19 checkpoint at the entrance to Dublin Airport's Terminal 1. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

AA’s director of consumer affairs Conor Faughan discussed the significant effort by gardaí to enforce travel restrictions.

“The most important thing in carrying out these checkpoints is ensuring that the restrictions are being enforced while also avoiding causing unnecessary inconvenience for those who are undertaking essential travel, such as our front-line workers,” he said.


“To be fair to Gardaí this isn’t an easy balance to strike but the overwhelming feedback that we are getting from our customers and members is that they are fully supportive of the efforts.”

Of those surveyed, 73.35pc stated they were “very satisfied” with the manner of the Garda operating the checkpoint, with a further 14.08pc describing themselves as “somewhat satisfied”.

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However, just 45.52pc described themselves as very satisfied with the management of traffic to minimise delays. Mr Faughan went on to say how the process can be improved.

“In terms of the checks themselves, we have made some improvement by providing Gardaí with modern methods, such as ANPR to check valid insurance is in place, but there is still some scope for further improvements to allow Gardaí to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible,” he said.

Excluding Covid-19 measures, motor tax and insurance checks were among the most likely checks carried out at checkpoints within the past year.

Of those who had encountered a checkpoint at least once within the last month, 41.70pc said the validity of their motor tax was checked, with 40.10pc reporting a check of their insurance disc.

Only 3.82pc of people were stopped and asked to take a breathalyser test.

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