Gardaí stopped almost half of Irish motorists at a checkpoint in January

ireland
Gardaí Stopped Almost Half Of Irish Motorists At A Checkpoint In January Gardaí Stopped Almost Half Of Irish Motorists At A Checkpoint In January
Almost half of Irish motorists report being stopped at a Garda checkpoint in January. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos.
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Almost half of Irish motorists report being stopped at a Garda checkpoint in January, according to a new survey carried out by AA Ireland.

As efforts to enforce Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions – including a five kilometre limit on non-essential travel for exercise – ramp up, gardaí have increased checkpoints on roads around the country.

Some 45 per cent of respondents to AA Ireland’s survey said they encountered a Garda checkpoint within the past month.

A further 16 per cent said they had been stopped at a checkpoint between one and three months ago.

Of those who encountered a checkpoint within the past month, 89 per cent said gardaí questioned the purpose of their journey and whether it complied with Covid-19 restrictions.

The overwhelming feedback that we are getting from our customers and members is that they are fully supportive of the efforts.

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The survey of more than 6,000 motorists by the automotive services company found gardaí also questioned motorists over motor tax validity (41 per cent) and insurance (40 per cent) within the past month.

“In recent months and particularly the since we entered the third lockdown, we have seen a significant nationwide effort by gardaí to carry out checkpoints in order to police and enforce the lockdown restrictions introduced by Government,” Conor Faughnan of the AA said.

“The most important thing in carrying out these checkpoints is ensuring that the restrictions are being enforced while also avoiding causing unnecessary inconvenience for those who are undertaking essential travel, such as our frontline workers.

“This isn’t an easy balance to strike but the overwhelming feedback that we are getting from our customers and members is that they are fully supportive of the efforts.”

Time taken

The survey found high levels of satisfaction with the handling of checkpoints on Irish roads, with 73 per cent of respondents saying they were “very satisfied” with the manner of the Garda operating the checkpoint, and a further 14 per cent describing themselves as “somewhat satisfied”.

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On the time taken to pass through the checkpoint, 64 per cent described themselves as “very satisfied”.

Some 45 per cent described themselves as “very satisfied” with the management of traffic to minimise delays.

“Overall, the majority of motorists support checkpoints in general and those who encounter a checkpoint are satisfied with the management of the checkpoint and the manner of the Garda they encounter,” Mr Faughnan said.

“In terms of the checks themselves, we have made some improvement by providing gardaí with modern methods, such as ANPR to check valid insurance is in place, but there is still some scope for further improvements to allow gardaí to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

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