Drink driving arrests in Laois have risen by close to 300 percent in this past 12 months, but this has been attributed to an increased garda presence on the county’s roads.
At last week’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee meeting in Laois County Hall, Superintendent Anthony Pettit revealed that overall, traffic offences are up over 50 percent from the second quarter of 2016 to the same period this year, from 103 to 155.
Drink driving is up 272.7 percent, from eleven to 41; traffic collisions causing material damage are up 22.5 percent, from 80 to 98; traffic collisions causing non serious injury are up 85.7 percent, from seven to 13; and traffic collisions causing serious injury are up 300 percent, from none to three.
Supt Pettit said that increased garda presence accounted for the rise in drink driving figures, with increased activity on the road and more checkpoints.
He said the gardaí will continue to be out there enforcing the safety element.
Deputy Brian Stanley said he was on the road a good bit and agreed there was a greater garda visibility, with more checkpoints.
He also highlighted a problem he knew of on the road from Glendine to Kinnitty, where certain individuals had been using it as a racing track, knocking down signs and burning out cars.
On the subject of road traffic safety, Cllr Tom Mulhall said there had been a number of accidents on the R420 road at Kilmullen, with a huge amount of single vehicle crashes that has prompted residents to call a public meeting on the matter.
He said that residents wouldn’t let their children play on the lawn, nor mow the grass, for fear of something happening.
“They’re taking their life into their own hands,” he said.
He also said there was huge problems with traffic on the N80 near the Windy Gap.