Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What's the point of the new Garda Traffic Corps?

Driving from Rosslare to Dublin yesterday, it took one hour to get through Gorey at lunchtime, a distance of about one mile. This delay wasn’t the result of road works or an accident, it was just a normal day’s experience in this particular town. Needless to say, I didn’t see a single garda in that hour.

It would be unsurprising if many motorists subsequently exceeded the speed limit in an effort to make up for this lost time. It’s certainly unlikely that it helped improve tempers or road manners.

Does the much heralded Garda Traffic Corps have any responsibility for ensuring that traffic flows as smoothly as possible or are they just there to catch us when we break the law? Why is it that you almost never see a garda on point duty, unless there’s some politician or visiting dignitary being whisked through, while the rest of us are delayed in the national interest.

We have been reminded in recent months that Gardai spend two years learning their trade in Templemore. Is it that they now consider themselves over-qualified for point duty, or do they need to spend even longer in training school? It could be that organised crime is very active in Gorey, consuming all available garda resources, but I doubt it.

Hopefully the reservists will help to sort out the problem.

Footnote: Published as a letter in the irish Times, but with some unfortunate editing grammatical cock-ups. Also in the Irish Independent & the Irish Examiner.

Which prompted the following note to the IT editor:

I have a query regarding my letter published on 8th June under the above heading.
Does you edit all the letters yourself or does you delegate the task?
Yours etc.

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