Driv­ers are still us­ing phones

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

MO­TORISTS are not get­ting the mes­sage about the dan­gers of us­ing a mo­bile phone while driving and not wear­ing a safety belt, Wick­low Joint Polic­ing Com­mit­tee was in­formed.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent John Paul Quirke told the com­mit­tee that mo­bile phone use at the wheel is still pos­ing a huge chal­lenge to An Garda Síochana and that there have been 621 in­ci­dents recorded so far this year, an in­crease of 64 per cent on last year.

‘I just can’t un­der­stand why the mes­sage is not get­ting through. It is very wor­ry­ing be­cause it is a key life­saver cri­te­ria for us along with wear­ing seat­belts,’ he said. Seat belt of­fences are up by 19 per cent, with 378 al­ready recorded this year.

A to­tal of 1,314 Manda­tory In­tox­i­cant Test­ing (MIT) check­points op­er­ated this year so far, an in­crease of 21 per cent across the county while 7,986 road­side breath tests were per­formed, an in­crease of 1,187 (18%) on 2017.

The fig­ures for driving while in­tox­i­cated were down by six per cent to 116 while speed­ing was up by 155 (4&) to 4,017.

Ve­hi­cles detained (Sec­tion 41 RTA) is at 789. a drop of -32 per cent while there were 1,792 searches car­ried out, 120 less than in 2017.

Test pur­chas­ing of in­tox­i­cat­ing liquor yielded 14 in­ci­dents, 10 less than in 2017.

The meet­ing heard there were five fa­tal road ac­ci­dents so far this year, two more than in 2017 and 17 col­li­sions with se­ri­ous in­juries, three less than in 2017.

There were 80 col­li­sions with non-se­ri­ous in­jury, 19 per cent less than last year and there was no change on in­ci­dents of ma­te­rial dam­age only, with 818 recorded.

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