Garda Traffic Corps
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The Traffic Corps' main area of responsibility is ensuring the free movement of traffic and enforcement of all aspects of traffic legislation. The Traffic Corps was established in 1952 and each Garda Division has a Traffic Corps of its own. In Dublin the main Traffic Corps is located at Dublin Castle. It is headed by a Chief Superintendent and under his command are 1 Superintendents, 9 Inspectors, 37 Sergeants, 227 Gardaí and 16 Civilian Support Staff.
The Traffic Corps is present across every county of Ireland; its three largest focus cities are Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Border stations such as the Letterkenny Station in Donegal Division receive a lot of presence. Due to the close proximity of the border with Derry there is an increased chance of vehicles failing to stop, often resulting in high-speed chases. In such cases the Gardaí work closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to combat border-driving.
The Garda Traffic Corps use a wide range of vehicles, ranging from motorcycles to patrol cars and 4x4 jeeps. The "marked" Traffic Corps vehicle are marked differently from standard Garda cars in that they have the words "Garda Traffic Corps" and "Garda Cór Tráchta" on them. They also have high-visibility Battenburg markings.
At present the main Traffic Corps car is the Ford Mondeo, while the Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Terrano are the main 4x4s. In recent years the fleet downgraded as a result of financial pressures. Only about one car in three are being replaced. A number of motorcycles were purchased in 2011 but these were Honda Deauville 700cc and not the Yamaha FJR 1300cc which was the previous Traffic motorcycle.
Personnel has also been reduced from about 1200 in 2009 to about 800 by the end of 2013. Traffic members traditionally patrolled on their own but with the lack of vehicles in recent times they now travel in two's or three's in cars and jeeps.
ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) has been used by the Traffic Corps since 2009, with about 40% of the Traffic Corps vehicles (cars/jeeps) being fitted with ANPR systems.
There are 116 vehicles in the DMR Traffic Corps fleet (18th February 2011) as follows:
- 65 Motorcycles (22 Yamaha FJRs, 2 Pan European 1100, 41 Honda Deauvilles)
- 28 Marked (overt) patrol cars
- 10 Unmarked (covert) patrol cars
- 12 Jeeps
- 1 ' Robot' - Mobile Speed Detection Van