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Garda Operations

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 18 June 2013

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ceisteanna (361)

Derek Keating

Ceist:

361. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Justice and Equality following the criticism by the Chairman of the Road Safety Authority, if he is satisfied that enough Garda checkpoints, Garda personnel and the Traffic Corps are meeting the needs to ensure that all traffic regulations are being adhered to; if he is in agreement with the Chairman of the Road Safety Authority in relation to the number of checkpoints; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28644/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Policing Priorities I have set for 2013 include an emphasis on continuing to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads and An Garda Síochána has my full support in this regard.

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the deployment of Garda personnel and the allocation of resources throughout the Force. I am, however, assured that deployment and allocation of Garda resources is kept under continuing review to ensure optimum use is made of those resources. The Deputy will also appreciate that we have seen very positive sustained improvements in the attitudes and behaviour of all road users which underpinned another record year in terms of road safety in Ireland in 2012. Enforcement by the Garda authorities continues to focus on high risk behaviour and on identified vulnerable road users with a view to reducing the number of serious injury collisions and fatalities on our roads.

An Garda Síochána carry out planned, unplanned and 'ad hoc' checkpoints, including Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints as part of this effective, visible enforcement policy. The number of checkpoints conducted by An Garda Síochána remains high. I am informed by the Garda authorities that 71,960 MAT checkpoints operated in 2012, compared with 70,861 in 2011 and 57,568 in 2010. A total of 32,236 MAT checkpoints have been conducted to 12 June, 2013. More than half a million tests MAT tests are carried out annually, which represents a substantial proportion of the driving public. Furthermore, the outsourced safety camera networks provides 6,000 hours of additional enforcement per month with increased compliance across all of the safety enforcement zones, indicating a positive change in driver behaviour.

I can also assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána continues to conduct further specific targeted visible initiatives, such as the recent Operation Slowdown and related enforcement activity which took place over the recent June bank holiday weekend. Awareness campaigns are also conducted as part of An Garda Síochána's ongoing commitment to work with all road safety partners and contribute fully to the effective implementation of the Road Safety Strategy 2013 - 2020.

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