The number of driving offences in County Galway has risen according to a Garda report.
The report which was circulated by Superintendent Damien Ó Flannacháin to members of Galway County Joint Policing Committee (JPC ) at County Hall showed that there were 7,349 driving offences recorded in the county for 2019 as opposed to 7,238 in 2018, an increase of 1.5 per cent.
A breakdown of the statistics showed there were six deaths on county roads along with 37 incidents of serious injury caused by a road accident, an increase of 20 and nine per cent respectively from the previous year.
Speeding, which was the biggest offence in the county in 2019, saw 6,728 crimes recorded, an increase of 152 from the previous year, with drink driving incidents increasing from 235 in 2018 to 248 in 2019.
However there was a 15 per cent drop in drivers caught driving without insurance with 330 incidents recorded for 2019.
In response to the figures Fine Gael councillor Joe Byrne said while he accepted gardai do a very good in monitoring the roads, he queried whether the force could do more about speeding through towns.
Cllr Byrne said; “For me we have a major problem with speeding through our towns and villages. I proposed with TII [Transport Infrastructure Ireland] to have flashing indicators outside all of our towns. I would like An Garda Síochána to be a bit more active in our villages and town [with regards to speeding]. I would like to see in 2020 a concerted effort to get the message out there we won’t [do deals] with speeding.”
Superintendent Ó Flannacháin told the chamber that gardai are involved in a number of traffic checkpoints around the county which helps in the capture of known criminals.
He said; “[Traffic checkpoints] are very important to us. We are trying to protect people not catch people out. You would be surprised at the amount of criminals we catch from these checkpoints and that is why we keep doing these checkpoints. It is not about ruining people’s days or collecting money. Everyone at this table has been at bad traffic accidents.”
Overall crimes recorded in the county saw an increase of 0.8 per cent from the previous year with 9,635 noted for 2019, up from 9,559 in 2018.
Assaults recorded in the county went down with 74 assaults causing harm and 310 minor assaults recorded in 2019, down by 12 and 18 respectively from the previous year, as well as the number of rape crimes (18 ) being recorded, increasing by 10 per cent.
However cases of sexual assault (not aggravated ) have gone up from 47 to 61.