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Galway driver clocked doing 117km in 50km zone during National Slow Down Day

‘Any increase in speed contributes significantly to the severity of any road traffic collision’

File photo© Getty Images

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

More than 600 drivers were clocked breaking the speed limit over National Slow Down Day, with one motorist caught doing 117km in a 50km zone on the N6 in Galway.

A total of 173,811 vehicles were checked by GoSafe which detected 628 vehicles travelling in excess of the applicable speed limit.

The operation, run from 7am on Tuesday to 7am this morning, is the Garda’s annual reminder to motorists that any increase in speed contributes significantly to the severity of a road traffic collision.

Other offenders included one car driving at 92kmh in a 60km zone on the N4 Drishoge Carrick-On-Shannon Roscommon; another travelling at 92km in a 60kmh zone on the Monaghan Road, Castleblayney, Monaghan; and one spotted doing 122kmh in a 80km zone on the N4 Doddsborough, Lucan, Dublin

Gardai said the overall objective is to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.

“It is important to remind drivers at this time of year, the end of the winter period, when road conditions begin to improve and driver behaviour can change in line with that,” the force said in a statement.

“Any increase in speed contributes significantly to the severity of any road traffic collision.”

Last year saw fatal and serious injury road traffic collisions increase with 156 people fatally injured, the largest death toll on our roads since 2016.

January of this year had the highest number of road traffic fatalities of any January in 10 years, with 20 fatalities.

Recent Garda enforcement data and RSA research demonstrate that drivers continue to speed. During 2022, 73% of fatal collisions occurred on rural (80km/h or more) roads with 27% on urban roads.

Chief Superintendent Jane Humphries, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said: "It is important to thank all of those drivers who do the right thing and drive not only within the necessary speed limits, but at speeds that are appropriate to the conditions.

“However, each and every day across the country we continue to detect drivers travelling in excess of the speed limit.

“We know that a reduction in average speed will bring about a reduction in fatal collisions, and therefore reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety.”

Chief Superintendent Humphries added: “Last year sadly saw an increase in fatalities on our roads, we have a collective responsibility for keeping each other safe on the road and I’d appeal to all road users to think about how their actions can have an impact on the lives of others.

Mr. Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority, said excessive speed continues to be a leading contributory factor in fatal and serious injury collisions in Ireland and internationally.

“it has been estimated that 30% of fatal collisions are the result of speeding or inappropriate speed. Evidence shows that many drivers are choosing to speed in our towns, villages and on rural roads.

“The RSA’s Free Speed observational study found that half of all drivers (52%) were observed speeding on urban roads and over a quarter (27%) were speeding on rural roads.

“This National Slow Down Day, and indeed every day, please remember the faster you drive, the more likely you are to crash which could result in death or serious injury. Slow down – drive at a speed that is appropriate to the conditions and your experience and remember a speed limit is not a target.”

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