A Galway motorist was clocked doing 86 km/h in a 50 km/h zone just minutes into National Slow Down Day last Friday.
The Community Road Safety Action & Information Network (Cosain) recorded a car breaking the speed limit on a city road at 7.06am on Friday, the second National Slow Down Day of 2015.
The motorist was observed travelling at 86 km/h near the former Spinnaker Hotel, heading towards Salthill, a speed which Cosain says is “extreme” and potentially fatal for vulnerable road users in the event of a collision. The speed limit is 50 km/h, and the road is a popular route for walking and cycling.
Cosain has criticised the high-profile 24-hour Garda Síochána national clampdown on speeding, when they conducted an intensive national speed enforcement operation for a 24 hour period from 7am Friday to 7am Saturday.
Operation Slow Down’s aim is to get drivers to slow down by reminding them of the dangers of speeding, increasing compliance with speed limits and acting as a deterrent to driving at excessive speed.
Between 7am Friday and 7am Saturday, GoSafe checked the speed of 115,003 vehicles, with 451 detected travelling in excess of the speed limit – a compliance rate of 99.6%.
Notable incidents over the 24 hours included a car travelling133 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the R446 Curragh, Aughrim, Galway. The highest speed recorded nationally was 148 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the N55 near Glasson, Westmeath.
A spokesperson for Cosain however expressed scepticism about the “generalisability” of the 99.6% compliance figure.
“What National Slow Down Day shows is that high-visibility speed surveillance works and that high-profile media campaigns can be effective in raising awareness and improving social attitudes towards compliance,” said a Cosain spokesperson.
“However, there are only two or three Slow Down Days every year, and high-visibility surveillance is conducted only in selected locations. What about other areas and the rest of the year? Numerous community speed checks conducted by Cosain have shown that speeding is commonplace in Galway City. This is because there are no speed controls in most areas most of the time.”
He added that if the authorities “genuinely want to promote walking, cycling and public transport in Galway then that situation has to be changed, permanently and sustainably”.