Almost 2,800 speeding fines in Cork city, despite lockdown

Almost 2,800 speeding fines in Cork city, despite lockdown
A Garda talks to drivers at a Garda traffic checkpoint in Cork city.Pic; Larry Cummins

THE number of people fined for speeding in Cork city in the first seven months of this year is almost on a par with the total for 2018.

Figures released to The Echo, through the Freedom of Information Act, showed that 2,778 motorists were fined for speeding in Cork city in the first seven months of this year, netting the State €235,800.

This compared with 2,795 such offences in 2018, for an income of €245,920.

Last year, there were 3,639 detections for speeding, netting fines totalling €315,920.

The high numbers overlapped with the Covid-19 lockdown, which road-safety advocates had hoped would reduce traffic offences and road deaths.

But Road Safety Authority spokesman, Brian Farrell, said: “This is something we have seen across a whole range of offences and in the statistics relating to crashes. We would have expected to have seen a significant reduction in deaths in the lockdown period, but we only had a 30% drop.”

A higher reduction had been expected, because of the 70% reduction in traffic on Irish roads during the lockdown, Mr Farrell said.

He continued: “We also saw offences like drug-driving and drink-driving be very high.”

He added: “There could be any number of reasons for this, including that there was a significant garda presence on the roads, but even so, people should have been doing the right thing on the roads. People didn’t really care.”

Mr Farrell urged drivers to take care on the roads, and said: “These figures are shocking and disappointing, but it does show that gardaí are out there and these drivers will not get away scot-free.”

Speeding incurs three penalty points and a fine of €80.

If detected by a speed camera, the motorist will receive a fixed penalty notice by post, with 28 days to pay.

If the driver opts not to pay, the fine increases to €120, with a cut-off of 28 days to pay. If the motorist fails to pay this, they are then issued with a summons to appear in court. If convicted in court, the penalty points rise to five, with a maximum fine of €1,000.

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