One does a lot of driving around this country, and the vast improvement we've seen in our national road network - thanks aaargh, to FF-led governments - has meant it's gotten a whole lot easier. Travelling to Cork and Galway are no longer overnight events, and it sure makes selling an easier game.
But it doesn't come without its problems. I have some very specific ones and I wonder if it strikes a cord with my, er, fellow travellers.
A couple of weeks ago I had a supplier over from the UK who had had a recent prostrate operation resulting in the necessity to use the loo every couple of hours. Travelling to Cork and Galway resulted in numerous unintentional stops which to be honest, quite frankly summarised the inability of the NRA and the government to do the basic things right.
Outside of Dublin, the level of traffic is reduced to such an extent that it actually is a danger in itself. In the UK and in France you have to be pretty much alert and keep your concentration levels on high at all times. Over here, the interaction with traffic on the motorways are so comparatively light, that the danger is falling asleep at the wheel. Which neatly ties in the observation above, not having proper motorway services throughout our motorway system is in itself, not only an inconvenience but a contribution to potential fatalities.
Finally, and most importantly, there is the issue of speed. I'm no saint, and I'll use the sat nav system to skim the speed the limit within what I consider to be an acceptable limit, so 122-124km/h. Regularly I'll be overtaken by cars doing 135-140 km/h and irregularly at 150 km/h+. This leads us to the central lack of regulation I've seen, practically no unmarked cars and only the occasional static radar check. At the speeds involved, it leaves no room for driver error, particularly when you consider the careless and inexperienced drivers we have over here in using our motorway systems. While motorways are statistically the safest roads to travel on, the nature of any accidents are catastrophic.
It's time to change our speeding legislation to reflect our new infrastructure. Speeding fines should reflect the excess involved. On the spot fines on a sliding scale in addition to a short ban is what's required, before it's too late.