Almost Half Of Motorists Stopped At Garda Checkpoint In Past 30 Days

Over 45% of Irish motorists have encountered a Garda checkpoint within the past month according to a recent survey, as efforts to police COVID-19 restrictions have been ramped up.

According to a recent survey of over 6,000 Irish motorists undertaken by AA Ireland, 45.41% of respondents stated they had been stopped at a checkpoint within the past month. Meanwhile, a further 16.49% stated they have been stopped at a checkpoint between 1 and 3 months ago as Gardaí work to enforce restrictions on non-essential travel.

Unsurprisingly, of those who encountered a checkpoint within the past month, 89.39% stated that the purpose of their journey and whether it complied with COVID-19 restrictions was queried by the Garda manning the checkpoint.

Excluding COVID-19 measures, motor tax and insurance checks were among the most likely checks carried out at checkpoints within the past year. Of those who had encountered a checkpoint at least once within the last month, 41.70% stated that the validity of their motor tax was checked, with 40.10% reporting a check of their insurance disc.


“In recent months and particularly the since we entered the third lockdown, we have seen a significant nationwide effort by Gardaí to carry out checkpoints in order to police and enforce the lockdown restrictions introduced by Government. The most important thing in carrying out these checkpoints is ensuring that the restrictions are being enforced while also avoiding causing unnecessary inconvenience for those who are undertaking essential travel, such as our front-line workers,” 
Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “To be fair to Gardaí this isn’t an easy balance to strike but the overwhelming feedback that we are getting from our customers and members is that they are fully supportive of the efforts.”

The survey also found high levels of satisfaction with the handling of checkpoints on Irish roads.

Of those surveyed by the AA, 73.35% stated they were “very satisfied” with the manner of the Garda operating the checkpoint, with a further 14.08% describing themselves as “somewhat satisfied.” On the time taken to pass through the checkpoint, 64.02% described themselves as very satisfied. However, just 45.76% and 45.52% respectively described themselves as very satisfied with the thoroughness of the checks carried out at the checkpoint and the management of
traffic to minimise delays.


“Overall, the majority of motorists support checkpoints in general and those who encounter a checkpoint are satisfied with the management of the checkpoint and the manner of the Garda they encounter,”
 Faughnan added. “In terms of the checks themselves, we have made some improvement by providing Gardaí with modern methods, such as ANPR to check valid insurance is in place, but there is still some scope for further improvements to allow Gardaí to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Fig.1 When were you last stopped at a Garda checkpoint while driving?

Based on 6,112 responses to an AA Ireland survey undertaken in December 2020 / January 2021.

 

Within the past month

45.41%

Between 1 and 3 months ago

16.49%

Between 3 and 6 months ago

11.11%

Between 6 and 12 months ago

9.37%

More than 12 months ago

11.66%

Never

4.19%

Cannot remember / prefer not to say

1.77%

 

Fig 2. Which of the following checks, if any, were carried out by the Garda on the occasion that you were most recently stopped at a checkpoint? (Please select all that apply)

(Based on those stopped at a Garda checkpoint within the past month only)

ES RESPONSES

Check that my journey complied with COVID-19 restricitons

89.39%

Insurance Disc check

33.91%

Motor Tax check

33.79%

Breathalyser test

1.24%

Visual inspection of the tyres

2.20%

Visual inspection of the condition of the vehicle

2.56%

Questions relating to a non-road safety matter

4.12%
 

 

 

Fig 3. Which of the following checks, if any, were carried out by the Garda on the occasion that you were most recently stopped at a checkpoint? (Please select all that apply)

(Based on those stopped at a checkpoint within the past 12 months)

 

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES

Check that my journey complied with COVID-19 restricitons

72.56%

Insurance Disc check

40.10%

Motor Tax check

41.70%

Breathalyser test

3.82%

Visual inspection of the tyres

2.27%

Visual inspection of the condition of the vehicle

2.59%

Questions relating to a non-road safety matter

4.05%
 

 

Fig. 4 Thinking of the most recent time you were stopped at a Garda checkpoint, how satisfied were you with each of the following?


VERY SATISFIED SOMEWHAT SATISFIED NEUTAL SOMEWHAT DISSATISFIED VERY DISSATISFIED CANNOT REMEMBER / PREFER NOT TO SAY

Time it took to get through the checkpoint

64.02% 19.31% 9.63% 3.06% 3.37% 0.60%

Manner of the Garda operating the checkpoint

73.35% 14.08% 8.20% 2.12% 1.81% 0.45%

Thoroughness of any checks or tests carried out

45.76% 17.56% 29.84% 3.21% 2.23% 1.39%

Management of traffic to avoid unnecessary delays

45.52% 23.98% 16.35% 7.55% 5.95% 0.64%

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