Have you ever been in a situation where you witnessed or underwent a situation of dangerous driving? Do you know where to report an incident of dangerous driving? Keep on reading and I’ll tell you! Until last Friday, I had no idea where to report incidents of dangerous driving.
So what happened?
On my cycle last Friday, I took a left onto the Gort-Loughrea Road in the direction of CastleDaly. It’s a windy, narrow road, and mostly no hard shoulder( or if there is some kind of a notion of a hard shoulder, it’s overgrown or there is debris on it). A truck overtook me at a high speed, without making any attempt to give me space, with oncoming traffic and continued to drive at high speed. A clear case of dangerous driving. It all went extremely fast, so at the time I didn’t have much time to think. It was only when I almost felt the truck I realized this was a matter of life and death. I really believe if I had made any wrong move as the truck overtook me, I would not be here to tell the tale.
Where to report Dangerous Driving?
Members of the public can call Traffic Watch lo-call number
1890 205 805 NEW NUMBER 0818 205 805 to report aggressive driver behaviour, driving hazards and traffic-related incidents. Calls are answered and logged by civilian personnel at the Garda Information Services Centre, Castlebar. The reported incident is then forwarded to the relevant Garda Station for investigation. More info here. I recommend you ring as soon as possible to keep the memory fresh. Having footage will be very helpful.
I didn’t know about the above, however, my colleagues at Galway Cycling Campaign did, and they encouraged me to report. Reporting is essential to make roads safer in South Galway. There are very few reports made to the Garda in South Galway, as people don’t have proof, or can’t remember the vehicle/license plate.
I was testing out how to use a GoPro, so I have video footage. It was only when I got home, I had an opportunity to see what really happened, and see how so very close that truck was… and how lucky I am to tell this scary tale. I am now awaiting a call back from the relevant Garda Station, who will then issue a pulse number and investigate the case. ( I will share the footage once it has been investigated). Update 22/09 – Driver was convicted – License suspended for 4 years. Well, it then got appealed and conviction was reduced to “Careless Driving” , 5 penalty points and fine of 500 Euros( I am about to write up the second Court Case)
There are no signs on this stretch of road to remind other road users to keep their distance from cyclists. ( Image by WEXBug , a community group in Wexford with people from all walks of life striving to make Co. Wexford a better and safer place for people to cycle.) They have been successful in getting signs like these erected, so I am encouraged the same can be achieved in South Galway.
I think we need to get signs like these on busier roads such as the Gort to Loughrea Road.
Since the pandemic, so many people are out walking and cycling on rural roads, but there is no provision to alert drivers that the road is shared ánd to remind them to reduce speed. Dangerous driving is a real issue. This is another sign we should get on those roads where it is known people are walking and cycling.
And last but not least, there is the whole initiative of Love30, check out their website here. Check out the submission by Galway Cycling Campaign to bring down speed limits ( for now with limited success.) I’d like to start a debate on the 80 km speed on country roads, how can a country road be safe if the speed limit is 80 km?
How can you help?
If you are out walking and cycling, and cars /trucks are flying past without regard for other road users ( after all they can do up to 80 km ), contact your local councillor and ask for their help to get any of the above traffic signs. It’s time we start having a voice before someone ends up in statistic because of dangerous driving.
Join my Facebook Group Gort Cycling Trails to find out about #GortCycleTrails #SafeCycletrails and sign up here to get updates on when I’ll be setting up community cycles and learn to cycle classes for children and refresher courses for adults. These are the loops I have mapped so far.