Facebook checkpoint page criticised

Thu, Aug 30, 2012, 01:00

Two Facebook pages called Garda Checkpoints Dublin and Garda Checkpoints Galway have been created to tell motorists where Garda checkpoints are located.

Garda Checkpoints Dublin was set up on Tuesday and now has over 6,000 likes on Facebook while Garda Checkpoints Galway page has amassed 1,000 likes in twenty-four hours.

The Dublin page has also posted the locations of 70 speed cameras and checkpoints, information which is available on www.garda.ie.

Users on the Garda Checkpoints Dublin page said: “Too late now but they were checking tax at the T1 airport exit yesterday at 4.30” and “This page should be called ‘lets help drunk drivers and speed freaks kill our kids’.”

Posts on the Garda Checkpoint Galway Facebook page included the comments: “This will come in handy for me as I’m always getting pulled in by the f****rs” and “Checkpoint in Gort tonight just off roundabout on Galway road.”

Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone called on Facebook to close the pages and said they were irresponsible.

"The random nature of Garda checkpoints and speed cameras exist for a reason. That is to stop people speeding and drink driving and ultimately to save lives.

"This approach has helped to reduce the numbers of people dying on Irish roads in the last fifteen years by more than half. This page threatens to negate the impact of these important and effective road safety measures. Knowing and sharing the locations of checkpoints makes them far less effective."

The number of road deaths fell to a record low of 186 in 2011 and Senator Noone claimed the Facebook pages were negating the impact of important road safety measures.