Thousands of motorists on a major west of Ireland roadway will be duped by an April Fools' trick with a difference - a lifesize cardboard cut-outs of a Garda with a speed gun faced at the traffic.
The message is clear ‘'Don't be fooled-SPEED KILLS''.
The zany initiative is undertaken by Mayo County Council, with the support of local gardai, to bring attention to the need for driving within the speed limit, with particular focus on speed as the April bank holiday approaches.
"The purpose of the cut-out was to let people know the only ones they are fooling when they are speeding are themselves, People might have feel fooled if they slowed down when they see the speed-gun in the distance, only to find out it is only a cardboard cut-out. Others might have go past it above the speed limit, and feel some relief when it not a real speed check," said Noel Gibbons road safety officer Mayo County Council.
"But the point we were trying to get across is that when you speed, you are putting yourself and others at risk. It's not just about avoiding penalty points for speeding, it's about driving safer at all times. We also want to create a saver environment for other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians to encourage smarter travel".
"Almost 200,000 people got speeding fines in Ireland last year. We would like to reduce the figure in Co. Mayo because speed plays such a major role in causing collisions on the road," said Superintendent Willie Keaveney Garda Headquarters Castlebar.
They say that you can only be in one place at anyone time but these cut-outs of Garda Ema Conneely Castlebar traffic Corp were placed on the N5 roadway linking Castlebar and Swinford and Westport / Castlebar road two of the busiest roads in the west, its all about raising awareness, we can all play our part in reducing fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.
The cut-outs will be followed by VMS signs displaying the text "Don't be fooled-SPEED KILLS".
Any driver who gets 12 penalty points at any time in side a three year period faces disqualification from driving for six months. Speeding drivers risk getting two penalty points on their driving licence plus a fine of between €80 to €120, if you opt to go to court and are convicted you risk four penalty points and a fine of up to €800. Speed is the biggest contributing factor to road deaths in the Republic of Ireland. Between 1996 and 2004, excessive speed contributed to 29% of our road deaths.