Naming and shaming won't reduce road deaths
Published 14/01/2017 | 00:00
There is merit in Minister Shane Ross's proposal to 'name and shame' those convicted of drink driving but I doubt it would make the slightest bit of difference to the road death statistics.
The idea is a noble one and anyone who would dare to take to the roads after consuming alcohol shouldn't be necessarily protected, but in the vast majority of District Courts, the local press is reporting on these cases on a weekly basis, so there is a record of the conviction.
Anyone who is so careless as to drink and drive simply doesn't care about their name being in the paper, or being on a list similar to the one published for tax defaulters.
This won't serve as a deterrent and will just cost the State more money to have this list compiled.
Road deaths increased by 15 per cent in 2016 as 187 people lost their lives on Irish roads.
This is an unacceptable level and yet we seem to be unable to truly tackle the problem.
Certain pockets of the country too, are so called hotspots for road deaths and yet it seems like very small steps are being taken to make them safer.
The roads are just not patrolled enough. The years where no Garda recruits were being accepted are now paying off, and there are just not enough resources out on the roads, making drivers slow down, stay off their mobile phones and stop taking stupid risks.
The mobile speed vans help, but they are in the same place so motorists know when to slow down. Also, the amount of 'helpful' drivers who flash to warn others of these speed traps are doing nothing but adding to the danger as they help others avoid being caught.
Every single day I see careless drivers on their mobiles, and this really is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to breaking bad habits.
We are surrounded by technology and for some, they just cannot bear to be separated from their phone for a minute.
This, of course seems like madness but the amount of drivers chatting on their phones, texting and scrolling begs to differ. In recent months I saw one man watching YouTube while driving - I kid you not.
It really needs to be tackled and there seems to be nobody addressing this on the motorways in particular.