Boy racers warned they are putting lives in danger

Road safety officials and An Garda Siochanna warn the meet-ups, often held at night, have soared in popularity since the first lockdown and road campaigners say lives could be at risk.

Noel Gibbons road safety officer in the communications office of Mayo County said: "In the early days of lockdown there was a particular problem with drivers speeding on quitter roads.

"Whereas the Gardai quickly cracked down on this speeding, we’re concerned these cruising-style events appear to be proliferating out from the larger towns into rural areas, where local youths have discovered their roads are much quieter at night and are difficult to monitor with look outs and advertising the meet ups on social media channels, but the Gardai still have managed to seize some vehicles because of some modifications made to them that renders them unroadworthy".

The County Council is turning to CCTV in a partnership campaign with An Garda Siochanna to stamp out the scourge of boy racers doing donuts on public road endangering their lives and the lives of others.

There is also the cost of repairing these junctions, it could be anywhere from €500 up to €1,000 or €1,200, depending on if a stop or yield marking needs replacement. The CCTV cameras are placed with signage at known locations where this behaviour is taking place and the video footage with the offenders on it is forwarded to the Gardai.

He added that: "People near the landfill site, Newport, have been plagued by Fast and Furious-style race meetings for months. Since the latest Fast and Furious release in the past week, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of roads left with the markings from the previous night’s activities of drivers speeding and doing ‘donuts’ on public roads,” said Mr Gibbons.

"Residents have reported incidences of drivers racing, skidding, honking horns, flashing lights, and blaring loud music. We would advise young people with an interest in cars to join a motorsport club where they can enjoy driving in a safe and controlled environment."

A spokesperson for the An Garda Sichanna from Castlebar Garda station issued a warning this week about such activity saying: "Acts of excessive speeding, drifting, and ‘donuts’ on public roads are dangerous and undertaken without any consideration for other road users. All it takes is one mistake, a lapse in concentration, or one fault with a vehicle for something to go tragically wrong.”

"An Garda Sichanna will be pursuing those who break the road traffic laws, there are a number of covert and high visibility operations planned to address the issue."

It was further suggested that if members of the public witness these driving acts, they should contact their local Garda station immediately and complaints will be treated with strict confidence.


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