By Paul O’Malley
There have been four fatal road traffic collisions in Mayo in 2020, one more than the whole of last year, according to figures released from An Garda Síochána.
Supt Tom Calvey, who is in charge of roads policing in the Mayo Garda Division, told a meeting of the county’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) there have been six serious road traffic collisions in the first half of 2020, as well as 35 accidents causing minor injuries and 362 collisions causing damage to property.
In 2019, there were three fatal road traffic collisions, 17 serious collisions, 57 resulting in minor injuries and 494 resulting in damage to property. In 2018, there were eight fatal road traffic collisions, 32 serious collisions, 116 resulting in minor injuries and 1,067 resulting in damage to property.
Supt Calvey said there is a misconception that road traffic accidents primarily happen when it is dark or during the winter period. In fact, four fatal accidents in Mayo took place from near the end of May to mid-July, occurring between 9.45am and 8.30pm.
Year on year, there was a reduction in dangerous driving incidents from 113 in the first five months of 2019 to 109 in the same period this year. There has also been a reduction in the number of vehicles seized for various road traffic offences such as the expiration of motor tax, with 360 seized this year compared to 462 for the same period last year.
Supt Calvey said gardaí set up almost 1,600 checkpoints exclusively related to drink-driving in 2020. There have been 186 detections up to the end of May compared to 246 for the same period last year. He added that in the last 18 months, gardaí have detected 47 cases of persons driving while under the influence of drugs.
There have been 5,105 incidents of speeding detected by on-duty gardaí and Go Safe speed vans, an increase of 38% on last year’s comparable figure of 3,709.
In the first six months of this year, there have been 349 detections of people driving while using a mobile phone and 43 for driving with no seatbelt.