Sinn Féin has questioned the “high profits” made by a speed camera operator, after An Garda Síochána paid out €14.6 million last year.
The force paid GoSafe the sum in 2020 to operate safety cameras around the country, checking speeds on gardaí’s behalf to make roads safer.
An Garda Síochána made a “loss” of €7.5 million last year as a result of a contract, as less than €7.2 million was raised as a result of fines from GoSafe detections.
Sinn Féin's justice spokesman, Martin Kenny, has called for a review of the contract and questioned the “high profits” being made by the camera operator.
“It approximately works out 50-50, that it costs almost double what they take in the amount of fines and revenue from fines,” he told Breakingnews.ie.
“There needs to be a review of this process because it is costing the State so much money, and yet we have the gardaí who are the real enforcers of that particular legislation, supposedly, and it has been a privatisation of that part of keeping our roads safe.
“It’s interesting that there’s such high profits being made by these companies.”
Mr Kenny said a “value for money” review was needed, that would also take the number of lives saved into account.
“I think we need to have a value for money review as to how much it’s costing, how much it’s taking in, but there’s also of course the value of life – how much is it saving life, is it preventing accidents,” he said.
“Is it acting... the way that it’s designed, to be a preventative measure that ensures that people don’t speed on our roads.”
An Garda Síochána contracted GoSafe in 2010 to operate a safety camera network on its behalf, in order to reduce deaths and injuries as a result of speeding.
The force says that road deaths have decreased from 415 in 2000 to 148 in 2019.
Speed is a factor in up to one third of road fatalities, according to the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
The safety cameras are located in areas that have been identified as having a history of speed-related death and injury.
The RSA previously noted that GoSafe would be paid on the basis of the number of hours spent enforcing speed limits and not on the basis of detections.
“This is about saving lives and preventing injuries, not about catching people. The only objective of the safety camera project is to change driver behaviour and save lives,” it said.