Noel’s Covert Plans to Ease the Pedal Off the Metal

Piper Noel O’Mahony’s idea of driving like there’s a guard in the car after you and putting Gardaí in very ordinary cars would certainly be a worrying development for the many speed merchants now making our roads so dangerous. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The alarming rise in road deaths and the worrying levels of the speed of powerful cars and vehicles of all shapes and sizes was the topic of conversation between myself and a man who told me he had a simple idea to call a halt to it all.

We were walking together between the old railway yard car park to my destination, the River Island Hotel.

“I always drive like there’s a guard in the car behind me,” he said.

It’s Not What You Think

That could lead one to think he’d be putting the pedal to the floor – but it’s not what most of us would automatically think on hearing that.

“If you think like that you’ll never break or go near the speed limit. And I’ll tell you something else,” he said.

“I’d put the guards on the road in old and ordinary cars with no markings and no blue flashing lights and there wouldn’t be any advertising of road speed clampdown days on radios or televisions or newspapers or anything like that.

Any Time Any Place

“It wouldn’t take the speed merchants too long to ‘cop’ on that they could be caught at any time or in any place with their boots to the floor.

“What do you think of that,” he said. “That sounds like an idea that would work, Noel,” I said, because Noel is his name and he’s a fine piper and O’Mahony is his surname and his idea could catch on if only people like the Harrises, Drew and Simon would listen to him.

As Noel himself said as we parted: “Wouldn’t it be worth a try for a month or two.”

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