Checkpoints go social
A Facebook page dedicated to informing Cork road users on checkpoints around the city and county has garnered over 6,500 fans since last Friday evening.
The page, Garda Checkpoints Cork, tell users where An Garda Siochána have set up to inspect tax and insurance, as well as speed traps.
“I’m just sick of this revenue generating system we have on the roads,” said Paul Byrne, from Passage West, who set up the page.
“These checkpoints are set up on areas of maximum profit rather than accident blackspots. They just want to catch as many people as possible with as little effort as possible.”
The page has received much attention since appearing on the social media site, with some commenting on whether it was legal to notify the public about checkpoints.
“Guards have quotas to meet on how much they they bring in in fines and arrests. You also have these speed cameras operated by private companies on areas where you’re just coming from a 100km road to a 50km road. They catch you over a matter of 20 feet when changing from those roads.”
Paul insisted that he doesn’t condone speeding in any fashion and has nothing against the Gardaí, who he says do a hard enough job without having to fill quotas at the same time.
“It’s an information page for people, a bit like flashing your lights, but on a wider scale,” said Paul, who works in IT.
“It is still slowing people down, but it’s doing it in a way that doesn’t cost them their licence. It’s just a page to let people know what’s happening. Any negative posts by people are removed pretty quickly. Overall the feedback has been positive.”
The Garda press office confirmed that the page was not illegal and that they welcome notifications that they are out on the roads.
“We want people to know we are out there,” said one Garda spokesman.
“The only problem we would have is if there was a checkpoint up the road set up in the course of an investigation into a robbery or something along those lines. People could then be interfering in a case so I would urge people just to take care.”
A Facebook page dedicated to County Cork was established yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) and had over 500 likes by the time of going to press. Other pages already exist in Dublin and elsewhere, while Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone has called for the closure of the Dublin page, describing it as "dangerous and irresponsible."
No Cork representatives have commented yet on the Cork page. It's understood a website with national tips is under construction at www.gardacheckpoints.com.