AA highlights the need for increased garda presence on roads as number of fatalities rises
More than half of Irish motorists believe that it is time for the government to increase investment in gardaí and traffic policing resources, according to a recent survey from AA Ireland.
According to a recent AA Ireland survey of some 5,000 people, 50.34% of respondents strongly believe the government needs to commit to increasing garda manpower and investment in road policing resources.
A further 28.13% of respondents stated they somewhat agreed with this approach.
“Road safety in Ireland has somewhat been a victim of its own success,” said Mr Faughnan.
“While we unfortunately still see a high number of road deaths per annum, when you compare where we stand now compared to previous decades and compared to other countries, Ireland has made significant progress.
“Unfortunately, in part because of this success, when cuts were made to garda resources during the recession traffic policing was almost looked at as a battle won and therefore an easy target for potential cuts.
“If we are to continue making progress in relation to road safety and preventing fatal accidents, then we need to not only reverse the austerity era cuts, but continue to grow the Traffic Corps to greater levels of manpower.”
Meanwhile, the survey also found that a majority of motorists believe garda presence on routes they regularly drive has dropped within the last 12 months.
Almost a quarter of those surveyed (23.19%) stated they strongly believe that the garda road policing efforts have decreased within the last year, with a further 28.33% stating that they somewhat believed this to be true.
“Within the last year, we have seen a commitment from government to growing garda manpower and improving resources, but unfortunately this process is starting from a relatively low base compared to previous years as a result of cuts made during the worst years of the recession,” Mr Faughnan said.
“Ultimately, we need to see an accelerated process of returning garda manpower and particularly that of the Traffic Corps to peak levels, but also a plan to extend beyond this and continue to grow our police force to keep Irish roads safe.”