Garda Commissioner: Drivers who ‘excessively’ break speed limits should face suspension

Garda Commissioner: Drivers Who ‘Excessively’ Break Speed Limits Should Face Suspension
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said his direction that all uniformed officers complete at least 30 minutes of road policing during each shift has made a difference to Garda enforcement. Photo: PA
Share this article

Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Drivers who “excessively” break speed limits should face suspension rather than fixed fines, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said.

He was speaking about actions gardaí have taken to tackle an increase in road fatalities, which have risen to 69 compared with 51 deaths in the same time last year.


The Government has pledged to reduce speed limits on certain roads, introduce more speed cameras and roll out an awareness campaign in a bid to reduce the number of road deaths.

Speaking before the Policing Authority on Thursday, Mr Harris said that people who excessively break the speed limit should face suspension from driving rather than a fixed charge penalty notice.

“I do think there is overall an issue around speed and how it is regarded and the sanctions and the availability of the fixed charge penalty notice,

“No matter what your speed, whereas individuals (who) are really excessively breaching the speed limit and can only be dealt with by a fixed charge penalty notice when they should be realistically facing suspension for such, in effect, dangerous driving,” he said.



The Garda Commissioner has issued a directive to Garda members, based on a Swedish initiative, to spend 30 minutes of each shift on roads policing.


In the first 12 days of the 30-minute operation, which began on April 12th, Mr Harris said there was a 42 per cent increase in the number of breath tests carried out compared with the same period in the previous month.

A 25 per cent increase in the number of vehicles detained, a 61 per cent increase in fixed charge penalty notices issued for mobile phone use, and an increase of 22 per cent in the number of people driving while intoxicated.

“This is not something to do for eight weeks and then leave, this is now a permanent feature so we just want it to be a habit for everyone in uniform to spend 30 minutes on this and then we’ll look to see what the responses is from that,” he said.

“But neither is it a numbers game… because if you make it a numbers game, then the numbers become meaningless. We want good detections to be made.”


Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman said average speed cameras will be rolled out in a number of areas in the third quarter of 2024.

They will be along the N5 in Swinford, Co Mayo, the N3 in Belturbet, Co Cavan, and the N2 at a location that is yet to be finalised.

She said: “The commissioner identified additional budget for nine static cameras. We just finalised those locations this morning. So next week we be will be announcing where those nine static cameras will be right across the country.”

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by