Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Robert Troy says he is shocked and appalled by new information which shows that there has been a 30 per cent drop in the number of Gardaí assigned to the Traffic Corps since 2011.
The information obtained through parliamentary questions show that the number of Gardaí assigned to the Traffic Corps is continuing to decline. In 2011, there were 940 officers dedicated to roads policing. This declined to 669 in 2016 and fell further to 643 in 2017.
Deputy Troy said: “The new information I have obtained clearly shows that the Traffic Corps in An Garda Síochána is significantly understaffed, with the number of officers dedicated to traffic policing continuing to fall year on year. The drop in the number of Gardaí assigned to roads policing duties is disproportionate when compared to other areas of the force. It seems that road policing and safety isn’t really a priority for this Government.
“It would be more in Minister Shane Ross’s line to articulate at cabinet for increased resources for the Traffic Corps rather than focusing on the re-opening of a Garda station in his own constituency, which does not represent good value for money, as stated earlier this week by the PAC.
“The Road Safety Authority in particular have highlighted the need for a substantial increase in the number of Gardaí assigned to the Traffic Corps. Fine Gael has instead presided over a continuous erosion of the capacity of the Traffic Corps and their Independent colleagues haven’t batted an eyelid in relation to this.
“The Government points to the reopening of the Garda College in Templemore as evidence of progress in bolstering the strength of An Garda Síochána. However all of the information I have received to date clearly highlights that the Traffic Corps has not benefited from an increase in resources. Instead quite the opposite is occurring, with the number of officers assigned to the Traffic Corps actually falling between 2016 and 2017.”