Europe

Bid to rein in 'sulky drivers' racing carts

  • 19 September 2013
  • From the section Europe

Sulky drivers - members of the Irish travelling community - who race horse and carts along busy main roads - are being reined in by Cork County Council.

Racers should fit anti-roll bars on their carriages, wear high visibility gear and put nappies on their horses, a report by the county's Joint Policing Committee recommends.

Travellers should seek permission to stage races, the report suggests.

Earlier this year, five men were jailed for taking part in a hair raising race.

The illegal race in May 2012 in County Cork was through commuter traffic on one of Ireland's busiest roads.

Drivers stared in disbelief and used mobile phones to capture the dash and the chaos in its wake.

Two carriages were followed by a convoy of cars, four abreast as they raced.

Police cars were in hot pursuit with sirens blaring and lights flashing, but many of those involved refused to pull over.

Footage of the race, was uploaded to social networking websites and was viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

In court earlier this year, a judge said the men had caused havoc and shown a total disregard for others road users.

He jailed them for five months.

But now, Cork's joint policing committee, a group of several agencies chaired by Cork County Council, is out to make the traditional sport, usually associated with the Irish travelling community, safer.

The have proposed strengthening current legislation and they would like stricter laws to make the sport safer.

They have issued a set of safety recommendations, including one that racers should have to get permission before travelling on public roads,

The group said that it was concerned about safety for everyone and the welfare of animals used in sulky racing.

It has passed its report to the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It wants to see stronger legislation on a national level to deal with the issue.

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