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Garda Police unit high speed chases, anyone ever been killed?

  • 27-03-2023 8:38am
    Registered Users Posts: 6,697 ✭✭✭

    I saw 3 Garda Policing Unit vans absolutely bomb it hrough a busy residential street over the weekend, they were trying to catch up with a drug dealer. Now they were easily going 80 in a 50 zone and this was a street with a Spar and a pub and several homes in a built up area.

    I was thinking if anyone had been crossing the road or even in a panic when they heard the sirens and moved the wrong way they were 100% dead not a hope of surviving. Are the Gardai exempt from arrest if they happened to kill some awl wan crossing the road after a bend or someone unlucky enough to have been in the middle of the road at the time?

    Even with the best of training, im amazed people havent been killed during these extremely fast chases through narrow streets.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,161 ✭✭✭✭Grayson

    they have been in the UK. There's a shift in policing that when they know the identity of the suspect and/or if the suspect doesn't provide an immediate danger, they just let them go. because it's not worth it to risk peoples lives in a high speed chase for someone that they would get later

  • Registered Users Posts: 659 ✭✭✭eusap

    Lights and Sirens don't give an entitlement to break the rules of the road, at red lights they should proceed with caution so i guess they could be charged for Death by dangerous driving if it was proven the garda car was being driven dangerously.

    I think a couple of years ago two there was some deaths on the stillorglin dual carriageway as a result of a pursuit

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,992 ✭✭✭pgj2015

    what do you suggest? they not go above 30 mph?

    they chase bad guys, sometimes innocent people get killed during these chases, $hit happens.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,309 ✭✭✭BrianD3

    I don't recall any incidents where members of the public were killed. However about 20 years ago Gardai Michael Padden and Tony Tighe were killed when their car (which was probably stationary or nearly so) was rammed at high speed by a car being chased by other Garda vehicles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 659 ✭✭✭eusap

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,639 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    There was this case from nearly 20 years ago now.

    Garda driver was responding to a call involving youths acting suspiciously around parked cars.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,546 ✭✭✭hoodie6029

    Didn’t a Garda crash into a bus stop on Milltown, around 2005, killing an elderly lady?

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,944 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    I wouldn’t say a van, in a residential area doing 80 in a 50 is safe. Vans have different handling characteristics to cars…. Slower breaking, not nearly as manoeuvrable, prone to tipping if empty and involved in an accident at speed….even clipping a kerb at 40 and it’s trouble.

    I’ve only driven vans maybe a dozen times and not for a number of years but always felt while out driving them, errors and certainly errors with speed weren’t situations you didn’t want to end up in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,854 ✭✭✭✭Potential-Monke

    The law allows official Garda drivers, who have completed the relevant course (now, back in the day the Chief could give permission), to breach some road traffic legislation as long as it is required, within the course of their duties. But, they are still responsible for all actions. There are plenty of cases of crashes, but thankfully not many of fatalities as a result of losing control. I didn't even know about that one above tbh.

    It's a scary thing, breaking road traffic laws while trying to maintain sight of the suspect, who cares far, far less about the people around them. Permission has to be given to initiate/continue, constant updates are required from the "chase" car, driver concentrating on driving, observer doing comms and keeping control/other units updated to position, direction, etc. Can be called off if too dangerous. Most cities would have good CCTV coverage so can watch the suspect car until it goes to leave the area and then begin the chase outside of the more populated areas, or set up a checkpoint/trap, etc.

    Realistically, this all happens so quick that it's hard to get it all right all the time. But before I left, "Chiefs permission" was changed to just permission to drive the patrol cars normally. You need to have the course done now to activate the lights and sirens while the vehicle is moving. Not sure if the number of courses increased though, I was only around for 1 round of applications in my 10 years, but it also heavily relies on who you know, no different to any organisation in that respect.

    I will say though... some buzz!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,150 ✭✭✭crusd

    I believe, but am open to correction, that if a guard was shown to have not taken due care and attention to the safety of others while engaged in a chase that required them to go outside the normal rules of the road they could be prosecuted. Eg. they are permitted to use their training to peruse a suspect however must also be conscious of potential dangers to others and moderate their driving accordingly. I would not have huge confidence that charges would be brought though.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 955 ✭✭✭Green Peter

    A Garda is far more likely to be prosecuted as the DPP will run with any half arsed case v a Garda just to be seen to be prosecuting. In some countries emergency services have two driving licences, one for their emergency services work and the other their personal licence. It's unfair to be asked to respond to emergencies to a demanding public and risk the license you use in your private life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,553 ✭✭✭John_Rambo

  • Registered Users Posts: 40,284 ✭✭✭✭ohnonotgmail

    was there not three burglars killed trying to flee from gardai? they were on the wrong side of the road and crashed into a truck. sometime last year or maybe a bit earlier

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,484 ✭✭✭Peintre Celebre

    Not long ago a garda was convicted of dangerous driving causing death. I believe he knocked down an elderly deaf lady en route to a robbery.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,684 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i was passed by a high speed chase on griffith avenue a few years back; witnessed a collision between the chasees and another motorist (they screamed off with the car sounding like a load of irons in a washing machine). about ten seconds later, a garda car came shooting past.

    was curious about them having given chase (was a northern reg audi they were chasing, presumably stolen for a job) as it was i think just shy of 4pm so would have been schoolkids etc. about.

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 18,467 Mod ✭✭✭✭Kimbot

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,639 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Did the elderly deaf lady have a reputation for doing robberies?

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,639 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    In the past month , I’ve seen eight Garda motorbikers escorting a gang of VIP visitors in fancy minibuses, and four Garda bikers escorting the Ireland team bus heading to Lansdowne.

    The thought struck me that the arrangements were designed more about creating a buzz for the lads on the bikes than about providing safe passage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,799 ✭✭✭✭DrumSteve

    I always thought it was so they arrived exactly when they were meant to

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,639 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    why can’t they just leave earlier like the rest of us?

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    have you never been stuck in unexpected traffic no? 🤔 a garda escort isn’t for safety it’s for expediting your arrival.

    the army escort things that require protection (think the bank runs)

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,639 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Like I said, why can't they leave earlier? Why don't they travel around 3-4pm for an evening match, avoiding the rush hour, and do their final meal and other preparations at the ground? I doesn't seem like a great use of very limited Garda resources to be facilitating last minute travel for a private event.

  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling

    Loudest crash I've heard and I'm a few minutes away from the scene of that particular one

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Police escorts are standard enough for these things and look lad if you can’t understand why footballers for example don’t leave hours before a match I can’t help you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,639 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    I know it's standard enough, but that doesn't mean it's right. It certainly doesn't mean that it is a good use of Garda resources. I suspect if the biker lads weren't having such craic doing the zoom zoomies through traffic, there might be a different view taken on such requests.

    All the grounds have top class hospitality facilities, as good if not better than anything the team hotel can offer. No reason why they can't be at the ground earlier, if that's what they need to do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,194 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    Loads of people been killed in this manner but it has all been swept under the rug by the Narda press office and the families given big payouts to stay quiet*

    *May contain traces of truth

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,615 ✭✭✭Feisar

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,854 ✭✭✭✭Potential-Monke

    Re: the reason bikes are used for escorts is it allows them better navigation to stop traffic. Allows them to zoom ahead through traffic to make way, etc. You know they're right fancy if there's a hape of Garda cars doing the escort!

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,252 ✭✭✭✭endacl

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,639 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Yep, if you’re going to do an escort like this, I can see that the bikes make sense. The real question is whether it makes any sense to use scarce Garda resources to save a bit of time for a gang of overpaid lads to kick a ball around a field.