Gardaí unveil new approach in crackdown on driving offences

The Garda is varying its approach to checkpoints in a bid to crack down on motoring offences, it was revealed this week.

A meeting of the city's Joint Policing Committee heard that the Garda's Operation Surround saw seven drunk drivers arrested around the city last weekend. The total number of incidents of drink driving detected this year to the end of October was 135, the same as during the first 10 months of last year.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told the committee that Operation Surround sees gardaí surround cities and towns with checkpoints in a bid to identify offenders. The latest report on Garda activity and crime figures for the city, which was presented at the meeting, saw a significant reduction in mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints — 855 checkpoints were carried out this year to date, down from 1,408 during the same period last year.

Chief Supt Curley said the reduction was due to a change in the way checkpoints were organised in the city.

"We have started doing things slightly differently," he said. "You get better success if you vary operations.

"Operation Surround seems to be working very well and we intend to do it up to the end of February 2017 so you will be seeing it throughout the city and county."

The number of recorded speeding offences saw a marked drop from last year, down some 59 per cent to 2,658. According to Chief Supt Curley this was due to a problem with the vans used in speeding detection, and he expected the figure to rise.

"I personally think we need to go down the road of boxed cameras and dummy boxes, where people don't actually know where the cameras are," he later added.

A discussion on the data recorded by six separate speed signs in the city was deferred to the next meeting of the JPC, scheduled for March. This data is understood to include more than 170,000 speeding violations around the city during the month of August, including several instances of vehicles being driven at in excess of 100kph on the city's urban roads.

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