Nearly 1,000 fines issued for non-essential travel by Gardaí

by Rachel Darcy

Nearly 1,000 fines have been issued to the public for non-essential travel by An Garda Siochana, with another 200 fines currently being processed.

Since the fines were introduced on January 11, Gardai had issued 771 fines for non-essential travel as of January 21.

Gardai have said that over 300 fines were issued for suspected breaches of health regulations on the weekend of January 16 and 17 alone.

Out of these fines, 144 were issued in the Dublin area, with a further 315 in the east of the country, with 77% of those fined male. A majority of fines across the country – 40% – were given to those aged between 18 and 25.

26% given to those between 26 and 35 and a further 21% of fines given to those aged between 36 and 45. Those aged from 46 to 55 received 8% of fines, while 3% of fines were given to those between 56 and 65, while 2% of fines were given to people over 66.

An Garda Síochána have said that they will be continuing its series of checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities across the country, in support of public health regulations.

They also advise the public to plan their activities to take into account that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home.

People are reminded that the 5km limit includes the distance travelled from their home to a location for exercise. In other words, you can’t travel more than 5km to a location to exercise.

The public should also be aware that if a driver is found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations that not only can the driver be fined, but their adult passengers as well. This is also the case for adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking – every adult in the group can be fined.

Gardai have also issued 30 fines for the non-wearing of face masks in certain locations with the vast majority of these – 26 – being in retail premises.

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: “The vast majority of people are complying with the non-essential travel regulations. This is very welcome.

“However, there are still some people who are not compliant. These regulations are in place to protect public health. At a time when significant numbers of people are dying or seriously ill we all need to do all we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“If people want to protect our health service and support our doctors, nurses and other front-line workers who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to tackle COVID-19 then they should stay home.

“They should only make essential journeys, reduce their contacts, practice social distancing, and wash their hands. Please stay safe and keep others safe by staying home.”

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