Drivers are still using phones
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.