NEARLY 700 drivers were caught speeding within the first nine hours of National Slow Down Day today.
Figures released by gardaí at 4.30pm show that 693 vehicles were detected travelling above the applicable speed limit since 7am.
Gardaí and GoSafe vans have checked the speed of 87,350 vehicles since the 24-hour operation was launched at 7am. National Slow Down Day continues until 7am tomorrow.
The operation consists of high visibility speed enforcement in 1,322 zones around the country.
Speeders caught so far include a driver clocked doing 124km/h in an 80km/h zone on the M50. Other notable speeds include 99km/h in a 50km/h zone in Clonmel, 106km/h in a 60km/h zone on the Navan Road, Dublin and 101km/h in a 60km/h zone on the Katherine Tynan Road, Dublin.
Last year saw 141 deaths on Irish roads. Gardaí warn that excessive and inappropriate speed is a major contributory factor in road traffic collisions. This was confirmed by a Road Safety Authority (RSA) report on fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012, which found that excessive speed was a contributory factor in almost one-third of all fatal collisions during that time.
The RSA says that the higher the speed, the greater the likelihood of a collision and the more severe the outcome of that collision. As a general rule, a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions, which is why reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety.
A garda spokesperson said: “National Slow Down Day, An Garda Síochána and the RSA continue to remind drivers of the dangers of speeding and urge motorists to drive carefully and abide by the speed limits.”