The Garda Chief Superintendent for Donegal said there is a ‘collective responsibility’ on the people of the county in relation to preventing deaths and serious injury on our roads.
Chief Supt Aidan Glacken made the comment in relation to motorists ‘flashing’ at oncoming drivers to warn them of garda checkpoints and speed vans. He was speaking at this morning’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) in Lifford. So far this year there have been seven fatalities on Donegal roads, up from six in all of last year.
Chief Supt Glacken said people had taken to social media to set up pages to alert motorists of garda checkpoints and speed van presence.
“I do a lot of driving and I’ve even had motorists flashing their headlights at me to warn me of an upcoming garda checkpoint or speed van,” he told the meeting.
“There is a collective responsibility on the public in relation to warning motorists about drink driving and road safety awareness checkpoints. JPC members should be asking people about this practice – checkpoints are about crime prevention too. Cars are deadly weapons, twice as bad when the driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. What is the benefit of warning people about these checkpoints?”
He added that checkpoints are only effective for 15 or 20 minutes and ‘that’s why we move them around.’
“Checkpoints are not about detecting and fining people, they are about keeping people safe.”
Sinn Fein councillor Michael McMahon said that, statistically, most fatal and serious injury crashes occur between 12 midnight and 6am. However, he claimed, there were no speed detection vans out “in the middle of the night when all the speeding was going on.”
Supt Glacken pointed out that speed vans were run by an independent company and that their locations were determined by road traffic collision statistics. He said Gardai can request vans in certain locations, adding that he did see a lot of them operating at night time.Tags: