Court grants bail to Clare man who expresses regret over lashing out at speed van

By Gordon Deegan

A 30-year-old east Clare man has given an undertaking in court to stay away from GoSafe speed detection vans and GoSafe staff while on bail.

At Kilrush District Court today, Shane Malone of Derronan, Derrainy, Whitegate appeared charged with causing criminal damage to a 16 D registered Go Safe van at Cregg, Whitegate on September 30 last.

Mr Malone is charged that without lawful excuse that he damaged a GoSafe van belonging to Go Safe Road Safety Ireland Ltd and intending to damage such property contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act.

Giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution, Garda Iomar McClearn said that Mr Malone replied: “I’ll pay for any damage that is done.”

Sgt Aiden Lonergan said that the State has no objection to bail as long as Mr Malone agrees to certain conditions.

The bail conditions agreed by Mr Malone include that he stay away from GoSafe speed detection vans and GoSafe staff.

Mr Malone has also agreed to be of sober habits, be of good character and to be law abiding.

Sgt Lonergan asked that the case be adjourned to December to allow the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to get directions “and there may be other charges being contemplated”.

Addressing Mr Malone, Judge Durcan confirmed that the bail conditions provide that he stay away from Go Safe vans and Go Safe staff. Judge Durcan told Mr Malone: “You probably never want to see a GoSafe van again.”

In reply, Mr Malone said: “I hope I never see a Garda station again. I’m very sorry to be here today.”

Judge Durcan granted legal aid in the case for Mr Malone and he remanded Mr Malone on bail to appear before Killaloe District Court on December 4.

In a recent written Dáil reply on the operation of Go Safe, the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan told Mattie McGrath TD that the Gardaí last year paid GoSafe €14.6 million for the operation of GoSafe in 2017.

Minister Flanagan confirmed that the duration of the current contract is six years from May 1, 2017 with the option to extend the contract for an additional 12 months.

Minister Flanagan stated that the total cost of the safety camera contract over seven years is estimated at €100.4 million, including VAT.

He said: “This represents a reduction of approximately 14% when compared with the cost which would have arisen over that time based on the charges under the previous contract.”

Minister Flanagan explained: “Under the current contract, GoSafe will provide an annual minimum of 90,000 hours of monitoring and surveying vehicle speed across 1,031 designated safety camera zones. This equates to a minimum of 7,400 monitoring hours and 100 survey hours a month.

He said: “This represents an annual increase of 300 hours on the previous contract. The current contract also contains provisions for up to 1,500 additional monitoring hours within any calendar month and the option to avail of fixed, temporary fixed and average speed safety camera systems.”

Minister Flanagan stated: “The role of the Safety Camera Contract is critical in the context of road traffic enforcement, improving road safety by changing driver behaviour in order to reduce road traffic fatalities and serious injuries by reducing the incidence of drivers exceeding stipulated speed limits, in circumstances where speeding is known to be a significant factor behind serious collisions. As such, the deployment of safety cameras is determined by road safety considerations as opposed to revenue maximisation.”

He added: “The safety camera network has made a critical contribution to road traffic enforcement and, by extension, road safety, since its inception, and will continue to provide valuable support to An Garda Síochána in the context of roads policing.”

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