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Gardaí , or 'Revenue collectors' ?

  • 08-02-2015 11:54am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭ Capri


    Maybe this is how the fancy new Insignia's are being funded :rolleyes:

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/oneinfive-fined-in-30m-garda-road-clampdown-30972691.html


    One-in-five fined in €30m garda road clampdown
    Traffic Corps accused of 'shooting fish in the ­barrel' as 357,189 drivers hit with fines in 2014

    One-in-five drivers were hit with penalty point fines last year, providing a massive €30m windfall for the Garda Traffic CorpsNew figures obtained by the Sunday Independent reveal gardai issued 357,189 'fixed charge penalty notices' (FCPNs) to motorists in 2014.

    The revelation comes in the wake of the latest in a seemingly endless series of controversies over the quashing of penalty points.

    And many senior gardai have expressed disquiet at what they say is the rampant prosecution of otherwise law-abiding citizens for minor traffic offences.
    One officer described the clampdown on drivers as like "shooting fish-in-the-barrel policing".

    He told the Sunday Independent: "It's all decent people who are being caught up. I'm not saying there should be squaring [the term used for quashing penalties] for some and not for others. That is wrong and nobody should ever do that.

    "But what people see is that serious crime is not being investigated and gangland murderers are not being caught. Yet the whole media seems to be caught up in this business of guards and penalty points. There's indifference to what's going on. It's a poor kind of policing. It's shooting fish-in-the-barrel policing."

    Another garda source complained that the traffic corps was becoming "a branch of Revenue".

    Last week it emerged that 114 penalties quashed by senior officers last year are now the subject of another investigation as the Government announced the setting up of yet another semi-state authority to oversee the issuing and handling of the hundreds of thousands of points by gardai each year.

    Of the fixed penalties handed out last year, more than half of these were for 'speeding', which carried an automatic €80 fine and two penalty points.

    According to the garda website, 247,886 drivers were fined for speeding offences last year. A further 28,549 motorists received three points and €60 fines for talking on their mobile phones. A total of 11,018 were prosecuted for driving without wearing their safety belts.

    However, the published figures do not include details of 'other' offences, such as illegal parking and driving in bus lanes. When these are taken into account, this brings the number of drivers hit by fines in 2014 up to 357,189, which is in or around the annual 'national performance indicator' target of 400,000 set for the traffic corps.

    Garda management denies that traffic corps gardai are set targets.

    However, this is contradicted by senior members of the force who also say bad practices have crept in whereby "lazy" traffic gardai pick certain spots where they know they can quickly maximise prosecutions. One source said certain gardai can reach ­weekly targets in a single morning by locating themselves in road locations at certain times where they know drivers will breach certain road rules.

    The term 'maximise' is also used in the Garda Traffic Corps' 'performance indicator' guidelines which state that their roles should be to "maximise use of speed detection equipment, ie robot vehicles, handheld speed detectors and ANPR equipment" to "improve road safety".

    While the annual prosecution figures remain at around the 400,000 level - about one in five of all drivers in the country - each year, the figures show that the gradual decrease in annual road fatalities has begun rising again after reaching a historical low of 162 in 2012. Last year 197 people were killed on our roads.

    The 'national performance indicators' for the Garda Traffic Corps state that its work is to be measured against the "reduction in incidence of fatal and serious injuries and improved safety through increased road user compliance".

    And despite the emphasis on drink driving as a cause of deaths, the statistics show that despite having carried out some 397,512 compulsory breath tests last year, gardai prosecuted just 7,697 people for being over the limit.

    Garda sources claim the huge number of breath tests is due to the fact that traffic gardai have been set targets they are required to meet.

    The traffic corps' performance indicators also call for the "increased use of mandatory alcohol testing and high visibility checkpoints


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 77,854 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    One-in-five drivers were hit with penalty point fines last year, providing a massive €30m windfall for the Garda Traffic Corps
    Fines go to the General Fund, it doesn't go to the Traffic Corps. Total general government revenue will be €65.2 billion in 2015, that makes these fines about 0.046% of government revenue.
    The revelation comes in the wake of the latest in a seemingly endless series of controversies over the quashing of penalty points.
    The scandal is the number of people who think they can break the law and get away with it, not that people are being prosecuted for breaking the law.
    And many senior gardai have expressed disquiet at what they say is the rampant prosecution of otherwise law-abiding citizens for minor traffic offences.
    So, some people, including a small number of gardaí and the Sunday Independent think "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

    Nobody is prosecuted if they pay the administrative fine.

    The law is the law, change it if you want, but otherwise enforce it, without fear nor favour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 573 ✭✭✭ crusier


    Senior gardai who can no longer square tickets for their friends speak to a journalist and put a spin on the situation, I think the system might finally be working. Maybe journalists are also lamenting not being able to get their tickets squared. Maybe we're now in a more equal society and long may it continue!


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 10,508 Mod ✭✭✭✭ 5uspect


    They could clamp down on the amount of drivers going about with defective lights too. I count around 2 per km on my commute. Recently I even had to inform a woman in a car park stopped in front of me that both of her brake lights were out and all she had working what the center LED strip.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 ✭✭✭ Zambia


    It's not possible for any revenue to be raised if the road rules are obeyed.

    I mean it's not hard ffs.

    Plus there is another thread saying the traffic core are way undermanned. So the chance of being caught is remote.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 7 JimmyReilly


    I did a poll of senior gardai and 98% said there was no issue so that settles it.


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  • 5uspect wrote: »
    They could clamp down on the amount of drivers going about with defective lights too. I count around 2 per km on my commute. Recently I even had to inform a woman in a car park stopped in front of me that both of her brake lights were out and all she had working what the center LED strip.

    Have a look at the twitter account for the last few days. https://twitter.com/GardaTraffic


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,624 ✭✭✭ Little CuChulainn


    The real problem in the rank and file is that they get no recognition for good work they do and they get harassed for the simplest mistake in paperwork or procedure. Gardaí are treated like primary school children by management. And don't get me started on the chaos caused by bureaucracy. There is no incentive to do anything but the minimum with the least effort involved. Less chance of getting in trouble.


  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ irishrgr


    Oh no!! Shock, horror!!!! Gardaí enforcing traffic laws....what next, painters painting!! Where does it end????

    This is simple, don't speed, keep your car in good nick, hey presto, no traffic ticket. What a load of ****e, like the one officer they spoke to has any perspective on national policing strategy. I agree, it sounds to me like sour grapes about not being able to "fix" tickets.

    We get the same guff wheeled out from time to time about catching "real criminals" and "making money for the state". Like we get a vote on that money or where it goes...and yes, like in Ireland, it goes into the general fund too, no incentive based policing here.

    BTW, the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, who killed over 150 people was stopped for a traffic violation (no number plate), you know, one of those "silly traffic laws"....just sayin'


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭ Capri


    Scottish cyclist with cam 'enforcing the law' by himself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOgumiBuEH0


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 56 ✭✭ Yiikes


    irishrgr wrote: »
    BTW, the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, who killed over 150 people was stopped for a traffic violation (no number plate), you know, one of those "silly traffic laws"....just sayin'
    Well Oklahoma only requires a rear reg plate so he would have been driving a completely unidentifiable car. Youll fail to find many who wouldnt want a regless car pulled over. If anyone thinks Ireland is a bad place to drive going to Oklahoma or Florida for a day. You wont be done for using the phone or driving a rust bucket but youll be done for a harmless rolling stop at a stop sign in a heartbeat.

    I think this sums up most peoples thoughts on traffic law enforcement: http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2015/02/19/gardas-persona-changed-from-prick-to-sound-after-not-doing-lad-for-car-tax/


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,082 ✭✭✭ bravestar


    Yiikes wrote: »
    Well Oklahoma only requires a rear reg plate so he would have been driving a completely unidentifiable car. Youll fail to find many who wouldnt want a regless car pulled over. If anyone thinks Ireland is a bad place to drive going to Oklahoma or Florida for a day. You wont be done for using the phone or driving a rust bucket but youll be done for a harmless rolling stop at a stop sign in a heartbeat.

    I think this sums up most peoples thoughts on traffic law enforcement: http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2015/02/19/gardas-persona-changed-from-prick-to-sound-after-not-doing-lad-for-car-tax/

    Wow I'm glad you sorted that out for me! Here was I thinking irishrgr was trying to make a point about big people being caught because of small things...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 ✭✭✭ Zambia


    Yiikes wrote: »
    Well Oklahoma only requires a rear reg plate so he would have been driving a completely unidentifiable car. Youll fail to find many who wouldnt want a regless car pulled over. If anyone thinks Ireland is a bad place to drive going to Oklahoma or Florida for a day. You wont be done for using the phone or driving a rust bucket but youll be done for a harmless rolling stop at a stop sign in a heartbeat.

    I think this sums up most peoples thoughts on traffic law enforcement: http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2015/02/19/gardas-persona-changed-from-prick-to-sound-after-not-doing-lad-for-car-tax/
    A London lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by an
    Irish Garda.
    He thinks that he is smarter than the cop because he is a
    lawyer, from London , and is certain that he has a better
    education than any paddy cop.
    He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the
    Garda's expense!!
    Irish Garda says,' License and registration, please.'
    London Lawyer says, 'What for?'
    Irish Garda replies, 'You didn't come to a complete stop at
    the Stop sign.'
    London Lawyer says, 'I slowed down, and no one was
    coming.'
    Irish Garda says, 'You still didn't come to a complete stop.
    License And registration, please.'
    London Lawyer says, 'What's the difference?'
    Irish Garda says, 'The difference is, you have to come to
    complete stop, that's the law. License and registration,
    please!'
    London Lawyer says, 'If you can show me the legal
    difference between 'slow down' and 'stop', I'll give you my
    license and registration and you give me the ticket. If not,
    you let me go and don't give me the ticket.'
    Irish Garda says, 'Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir.'
    The London lawyer exits his vehicle. The Irish Garda takes
    out his baton and starts beating the **** out of the lawyer
    with it and says, 'Do you want me to stop, or just slow
    down?'


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