Co Kildare: one of only four counties to record reduced penalty points.

Kildare Women Drivers Far Safer than Men!

County Kildare was one of four only counties in Ireland to record a reduction in penalty points issued from December 2013 to December 2014.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office showed a slight reduction from 31st December 2013 to 31st December 2014.  During that annual period, the number of penalty points issued in Kildare fell by 1.2 per cent from 37,018 (2013) to 36,572 (2014). This might seem to be only a slight reduction but I think we must acknowledge this achievement as the result of an increased Garda presence and GoSafe speed detection vans along major and rural roads.

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I note penalty points for speeding was the higher of the Ten PP with 4,403 male drivers breaking the limits and 3,151 female drivers. Other non-GoSafe/GATSU van detection offences included 765 males fined for driving whilst using a mobile phone, more than double the number of female motorists caught (350).

Male drivers significantly were detected as infringing road safety over their female counterparts with 121 men failing to wear a safety belt, against only 28 female drivers.

In other categories, male drivers recorded were an average of three times higher than female drivers, i.e. failure to obey traffic light signal: 91-34;  driving without reasonable consideration 99-30 and for crossing a continuous white line/broken white line, it was 42 male drivers to only 8 female drivers. Dare I say female motorists in Co Kildare are more safety conscious and mindful of road safety!

Only 13 drivers were fined for driving with no insurance, 10 of them male.

Sadly, Co Kildare still recorded four bereavements due to road accidents last year but Kildare Gardaí  must be commended for their continual support and enforcement of road safety in terms of observing, detecting and convicting drivers and road users, making the roads safer for all of us.

Not surprisingly, Health, Job Creation, Crime, Housing and Education were the top core issues identified in Co Kildare, in a recent survey I commissioned with Coyne Research which pretty much simulated the findings from a national sampling. A safe home and society, employment to support one’s family and the right to educational and health services along with affordable housing were resonated throughout the survey’s returns but 34 per cent of Kildare residents surveyed also indicated that roads and traffic congestion were key issues.

No doubt, many were amongst those who make the daily commute up and down the N7. I raised this matter on the recent People’s Debate hosted by Vincent Browne albeit the host himself had little sympathy for people who lose 2-3 hours a day (min) making the commute – and often have a Luas connection or bus journey to complete the trip to their place of employment.

I disagree with Mr Browne. Improved road and transport networks are vital to Kildare commuters. It affects not only the amount of quality time spent with family but it may also result in increased childcare payments. After all, a parent or parents who have to leave their home before 7am to ensure a punctual start at their place of employment has also to secure or deliver their child to a reliable childcare provider.