4 In 10 Motorists Stopped At Garda Checkpoint In Last 6 Months, AA Survey Finds

  • 41.54% of motorists have been stopped at a Garda checkpoint in the last 6 months
  • Almost 90% of drivers stopped at a checkpoint had the tax/insurance/NCT discs checked.
  • Most Check-points in urban areas during afternoon & early evening

More than 4 out of every 10 drivers have been stopped at a Garda checkpoint in the last 6 months, with an examination of tax, insurance and NCT identified as the most common reason to be stopped.

In a survey carried out by AA Ireland Motor Insurance in October of this year, 41.54% of motorists stated that they had been stopped by Gardaí in the previous 6 months. These figures point towards a significant increase in the number of checkpoints being carried out by Gardaí, as a similar survey carried out in June 2015 found that just 26.02% of motorists had been stopped by a Garda in the previous 6 months. However the checks are concentrated in the afternoon and early evening, rather than in the later hours associated with drink-driving.

In total, over 61% of the more than 9,000 motorists surveyed had been stopped at a Garda checkpoint in the last 12 months, an increase of 16.89% on the number of those stopped by Gardaí in the 12 months preceding the June 2015 survey.

“This reflects well on the Garda and their commitment to road safety given how restricted their resources are.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “While we welcome checkpoints, there appears to be too much concentration on urban areas at relatively safe times of the day. We would rather see them out and about at times associated with drink-driving. Checking people on their way home from work is fine but flashing blue lights in the car park of the pub at closing time are a highly effective deterrent.”

The survey also found that an examination of Tax, Insurance and NCT discs was the most likely reason to be stopped at a checkpoint. 91.78% of motorists surveyed stated that a visual disc check had been carried out when they were stopped, while 11.54% had been breathalysed and 3.58% of motorists were asked about non-traffic related matters.

“Unfortunately they are too often unable to do much more than shine a torch on the tax disc and wave the driver on. AA has called for them to be properly equipped for example with Automatic Number Plate Recognition and we believe that this will happen, but for now we are just not giving them the backing that they deserve.”

The AA Survey also found that the majority of motorists were stopped at Garda Checkpoints being carried out on Secondary roads (27.68%) and Primary/Main roads (26.80%). Meanwhile, of motorists who had ever been stopped at a Garda checkpoint, only 1.56% were stopped while driving on a motorway.


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