CCTV cameras are to help tackle boy racers in Co. Mayo, the images are to be used to catch culprits. Trademark 'doughnuts' are increasingly visible across the Country, leaving local authorities with the burden of repairing the damage in the process.
http://www.roadsafetymayo.ie/videos/noel_car.wmv (click on link to view one boy racer putting his and road users life in danger).
The County Council is turning to CCTV in a partnership to stamp out the scourge of boy racers doing donuts on public road endangering their lives and the lives of others. There is also the cost of repairing these junctions, it could be anywhere from €500 up to €1,000 or €1,200, depending on if a stop or yield marking needs replacement. The CCTV cameras are placed with signage at known locations where this behaviour is taking place and the video footage with the offenders on it is forwarded to the Gardai.
Residents say that their lives have been turned into ‘a living nightmare' by the young nuisance drivers racing, skidding, honking horns, flashing lights and blaring loud music. Local residents fear someone will be killed or injured unless they stop.
One resident said his life is being made a misery by speeding drivers doing handbrake turns and "donuts" at a junction close to his house.
"They will spin the car round and round and round in the junction four, five times creating a huge screeching noise, burning rubber," he added. "I really don't know how they can afford to keep replacing the tyres on the cars. I'm positive that somebody at some point is going to be killed. They just have no regard for safety, oncoming drivers, pedestrians, anything at all. From one o'clock in the night, you'll be woken up through the night. It's like having a new born baby in the house again and you're getting disturbed sleep patterns."
Noel Gibbons Road safety Officer said "While the tyre marks are vandalising public property, the dangers posed are of much more concern, there is also an issue of parental responsibility involved here, and I would appeal directly to the parents of these drivers to stop turning a blind eye to what's going on and do not allow their son or daughter access to a vehicle who is engaging in this behaviour. Thirty-eight per cent of those killed on our roads last year were under 25 years of age. We want young people to be aware of their speed, and our message is if you must speed take it on to a race track. There is also the fear that these cars could get a blow out on their way home after doing these donuts on the road"
Western Region Traffic Superintendent Martin Cashen said it was good news for the fight against anti-social behaviour on our roads.
"Our focus is very much on anti-social behaviour and just dealing with the issues that makes peoples' lives miserable.
Another problem Gardai face is the reluctance of local residents to report this type of driving, We are asking people to report these things but if they rely on other people and don't do it themselves the problem will continue. The more reports we receive the more we can do something about it.
Mr Curley, said they were also attempting to educate young drivers show them how modifying a car and driving erratically could put them at risk.
But he said as it is a rural area, they need residents to help them bring more prosecutions against those who are acting irresponsibly on the road.
"Unfortunately, whenever we arrive in country areas, immediately everybody stops doing what they are doing," he said.
"We have the problem of mobile phones and the message gets about that the Gardai are operating in that area. But we are working with the community and we would ask the community to phone us and to give us registration numbers and by identifying drivers who are doing this and to give us statements. We are willing to take a case to court with a statement from a member of the public because this is dangerous both to the people who are driving the cars - because they are out of control when they are donuting - but also to residents in that area. If a pedestrian was there and that car loses control we will definitely have people very severely injured or, unfortunately, killed."
Members of the public can report traffic-related incidents using the Traffic Watch lo-call number 1890 205 805. These calls are answered and logged by civilian personnel at the Garda Information Services Centre, Castlebar. The incident is then forwarded to the relevant District Officer (Superintendent) for investigation.