There has been an increase in speeding and other road traffic offences
The number of drivers stopped for using their mobile phone while driving in Donegal has increased markedly due to more enforcement, a senior Donegal garda has said.
Detections for the offence in the county increased by 138% from the period between June 2017 and May 2018, compared to the period from June 2018 to June 2019.
Other serious road traffic offences also increased during the same period. The number of drivers detected driving without a seatbelt increased by 85% while the number of motorists detected for speeding by gardaí increased by 67%.
The number of motorists detected for driving while intoxicated increased by 17%.
Meanwhile, eight motorists were detected for driving while intoxicated in Donegal over the bank holiday weekend, which is an increase of two for the August bank holiday last year.
Inspector Michael Harrison of Roads Policing in the Donegal Garda division said the increased detections were due to extra Garda resources dedicated to enforcement.
“The enforcement has increased and it will continue to increase. We are going to continue with that level of enforcement because it is obvious that some people are not taking their driving seriously.”
He said there have been operations targeting the use of mobile phones when driving.
“It leads to distraction driving which leads to collisions. And collisions lead to injuries and deaths,” he said.
“There are a number of ways we can detect people and people have become so complacent (about using mobile phones when driving) that it has become quite easy to catch people.”
“These increases in detections are due to enforcement. We have increased the number of personnel and we have increased the number of targeted operations.
“The message we are putting out to people is to stop using mobile phones while driving, stop speeding, wear seatbelts and not to drive under the influence of drink or drugs.”
The increase in detections for driving without a seatbelt was alarming, he said.
“Why people are getting a fixed charge penalty notice for driving without a seatbelt in 2019, I just can’t understand.”