Despite penalty points being increased and the number of offenses being also added to on a yearly basis, bad driving practices still exist.
In the past week I have observed numerous instances of stupid driving behavior which, if there was a police presence in the area, would have been allocated penalty points.
I see this every day, mostly it’s just 10-15 MPH above the limit, nobody seems to bat a eyelid. Even when you are going the correct speed, those behind you seem to think that the 60mph limit does not apply to them and therefore proceed to flash lights to get you to move in. Lack of enforcement is the issue here and although the speed vans are around, this I feel is not as much of a deterrent as the UK model – i.e. hundreds of static speed cameras plus police enforcement.
Only last week I saw a guy pass me doing about 160 kmh on the M9 and luckily for those on the road the Garda car spotted him at Mullinavat and eventually stopped him when he reached the M9 junction at Waterford.
I can’t believe how often I have seen this during the week, people driving down the road and then deciding to put-on seat belts while the car is moving. If you look out for this you will be alarmed at how often people are doing this.
Mobile Phone Usage while Driving
Again another one which should be enforced better, I see this all the time, commercial vehicles, taxis, and private car owners, driving and using a mobile phone. I even saw a guy at the M9 Knocktopher junction driving at 120 kmh using an iPad on the steering wheel. Should there be an offense for using a tablet (not technically a mobile phone) while driving?
Anyway, this madness continues despite Operation Slow Down which started on Friday – during which I saw no police enforcement during a 100km drive on Friday, maybe they were elsewhere.
Until Irish drivers get some cop-on our detail toll on the roads will continue to be in the news.
I noticed a huge jump in website traffic over the past 2 days, with over 2,550 visitors yesterday. I did a bit of checking on Google Analtyics and found people searching for Snow related keywords – the top 4 snow related searches were “Snow Forecast Ireland”, “Will it Snow in Ireland”, “Weekend Snow Ireland” and “Snow Ireland”.
These searchers were picking up on a post which I had uploaded way back in January 2010 – http://shanemcdonald.org/myblog/2010-01-08/snow-coming-ireland-could-grind-to-a-halt-this-weekend/.
Interesting to see how a blog post from 11 months ago can increase website traffic by between 10-15%. Using keywords in your post, Tags, Categories and using an SEO Plugin call help to optimise your Blog Posts in this way.
The Worst May be Over
Apparently though the worst of the snow is over (according to met.ie), we will have Snow showers affecting eastern counties will die out for a time early tonight (Thursday 2nd Dec). The severe ground frost setting in after dark is going to lead to ice on untreated surfaces – which will create major problems tomorrow morning for commuters. There is a chance of snow with Rain and sleet arriving in the northwest and west overnight and spreading southeast possibly turning to snow in many places, giving further accumulations before Friday morning.
Friday will have sleet and snow affecting many places Friday morning but clearing east by early afternoon. The weekend is mainly cold with a few showers, some hail sleet and snow.
The South East has been badly affected and when all this snow thaws, watch out for the floods !
The completed M9 motorway linking Danesfort Kilkenny to the Carlow section will officially open on September 9th at 11am. Speaking on KCLR Radio earlier today, Joe Gannon stated that the official opening ceremony of the new M9 motorway would take place at 11am on the 9th of September. (09/09 for the opening of the M9 … coincidence?)
The completed M9 motorway will link Waterford to Dublin with non stop motorway and the journey time should be approx 1h 30 mins between the two cities with the previous journey time usually 2 hours 35 minutes. Currently traffic has to exit at Danesfort, continue via Kilkenny (or via Knocktopher / Thomastown route) to the Carlow section and resuming on the M9 just outside Carlow. The announcement of the official M9 motorway comes as a welcome relief to travellers to Dublin from the South East as well as the people of Kilkenny (and Thomastown/Gowran) who have seen increased traffic as a result of the diversions.
Roll on the 9th September … the only thing not on the M9 through are servcie stations or Motorway services, I wonder when these will be added?
With the recession it seems that certain businesses are reducing levels of service in order to save costs.
The boom is over and prices have fallen, but have levels of service also been reduced – getting poor service is something which is creeping in here in there.
From Restaurants and Bars to Travel Services and the general Service industry. I have seen many examples in the past year where I feel that service just was not up to scratch … not going to name any places (just yet) , but I’m just wondering if I’m alone. In one establishment, I held out my hand to get change and while looking me in the eye, the girl at the till plonked the coins onto the counter, another incident involved going to a till and the cashier just saying “20” … not “Thats €20 please”, just “20” – no please and when I was finished, no thank you.
Small things but I haven’t returned there!
One thing that amuses me is the placement of these “Drive on the Left” signs in Ireland. I appreciate that we have many visitors from continental Europe and therefore the signs are necessary – lets face it they drive on the other side, so the signs are a handy reminder to Drive on the Left!
The one thing I have a problem with is the placement of these signs.
The key areas these signs should be placed are
(1) All International Airports
(2) All Major Ferry Ports .
The sign you see here was about 10 miles inland and 95 miles from the nearest airport or ferry terminal.
If anyone could make it 95 miles on the wrong side of the road – I think they deserve to continue on the right hand side.
Picture it, they leave Dublin airport in a car, on the wrong side of the road, cars blowing, swerving and crashing into ditches, they continue for 95 miles and THEN they see a sign saying “Drive on the Left” … who decides where to put these signs???
The M9 Motorway opened today from Danesfort to Waterford and on my journey from Thomastown to Waterford City I saved 12 minutes on the journey which will save me 2 hours a week going to work.
The road was a longer route than the normal N9 via Mullinvat but doing 120kph and also not having to put up with trucks, tractors and 60kph Sunday Drivers was a blessing.
RTE Covered the opening today : http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0322/m9.html
The next section from Danesfort to Co. Carlow will open later in the year to complete the motorway, bypassing Thomastown, Gowran, Dungarvan, Paulstown and Leighlinbridge.