THERE has been a marked increase in the number of ‘boy racers’ doing doughnuts and other dangerous manoeuvres on the roads around West Cork.
Gardaí have, as a result, warned young drivers that they will be prosecuted if caught doing dangerous moves on public roads.
The warning comes following the recent increase in the numbers of young motorists meeting up in areas across the division – including Rossmore, Rosscarbery, Drinagh, Dunmanway, Béal na Bláth and Clonakilty – despite travel movement restrictions still in place due to Covid-19.
In some instances, there can be up to 18 or 19 cars involved and some are travelling from all over the Cork West Division to attend these meets.
Speaking to The Southern Star, crime prevention officer Sgt James O’Donovan said that the fact that they are still organising gatherings against national health guidelines just ‘beggars belief’.
‘A lot more people are aware of traffic at the moment, particularly late at night by these groups of boy racers. It’s happening all over the division and you only have to travel on the roads now and you can see the marks on the roads. The numbers of these doughnuts have certainly risen,’ said Sgt O’Donovan.
‘We’ve had a number of complaints from the public across West Cork and we are asking them to ring us if they come across these groups or hear them. They tend to congregate more at night and during weekends.’
While gardaí have a lot of resources tied up with Operation Fanacht and checkpoints due to Covid-19, Sgt O’Donovan said that they can make out a policing plan in relation to complaints they receive and re-allocate their resources through the district car or the Roads Policing Unit to target these groups, with a view to prosecuting them.
‘These young groups are being very reckless in travelling across the division to meet up in towns, especially with travel restrictions in place. They might not know the ramifications down the line if they are prosecuted for road traffic offences – employment can be hindered if they don’t have a clean driving licence.’
Sgt O’Donovan said that this is also a road safety issue, especially with all the extra people out exercising and walking on the roads. Gardaí want to ensure that no one gets seriously injured or killed due to these drivers speeding on the roads.
‘This type of behaviour is unacceptable, especially more so during this period of national crisis where we are asking people to adhere to movement restrictions.
‘There are reports also that people have become lax about the social distancing restrictions but it’s still in place and this will only delay our return to normality down the line,’ he added.
Gardaí across the divisiona, as well as the two Roads Policing Units, based in Bandon and Crookstown, will be targeting boy racers and road traffic offences across the board as travel restrictions are lifted coming into the summer.