‘Substantial increase’ in number of speed and safety cameras on Irish roads

‘Substantial Increase’ In Number Of Speed And Safety Cameras On Irish Roads
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By Cate McCurry, PA

There will be a “substantial increase” in the number of speed and safety cameras on Irish roads, as the Garda Commissioner pledged to crack down on the number of drivers who speed.

Drew Harris said there are plans to bring in more than 100 static cameras and average speed traffic cameras over the next year, following a surge in road fatalities in the last year.


Mr Harris told the Joint Committee on Transport that there are plans to increase the number of road policing gardaí to 700 by the end of the year.

The committee heard there are currently 623 officers working in the unit.



Mr Harris appeared before the Oireachtas committee to answer questions over the rising number of road deaths.

So far this year, 72 people have lost their lives on Irish roads.

Last month, Mr Harris rolled out a new plan that involves all frontline gardaí dedicating 30 minutes of their shift to roads policing.


He told the committee that gardaí have detected 2,148 people using their phones in April, which is a 55 per cent increase compared to the previous month.

There has also been a 17 per cent increase in the those detected driving under the influence; and a 30 per cent increase in the number of vehicles seized.

It also emerged that 25 per cent of people killed on Irish roads were not wearing a seatbelt.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris appeared before the Oireachtas committee to answer questions over the rising number of road deaths

Mr Harris also said that 6,675 vehicles have been seized due to no insurance.

Fianna Fáil Senator Gerry Horkan claimed that the four most common characteristics of road crashes involve young people driving at weekends night-time driving and rural roads.

“With the best will in the world, we could probably quadruple or multiply by a factor of 10 the number of people in roads policing and we’ll never cover every road road,” he added.


Mr Harris added: “I think a lot of the improvement in our road safety is concentrated on speed.

“If there was less speed, and I know other nations in Europe have concentrated on speed in particular, but there’s particular concentrations on speed in the Scandinavian countries and less speed means that collisions are less severe and perhaps then more survivable.

“We ourselves are looking at a substantial increase in the safety camera network in terms of static road safety cameras.

“We’ve set a target of 100 additional road safety cameras.”

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman said the additional cameras will be a mixture of average speed and static cameras.

“There are currently two (static cameras) in (Dublin) Port Tunnel and the M7,” she said.

“We’re in the final plans to roll out a further three average speed cameras.

“There are going to be on the M5 at Swinford; the N3 at Cootehill and the M2 at Slane. They are to go live around September.

“We have a further nine static cameras that we will roll out before the end of this year and will all be on (roads of) 100km an hour or less.

“The Commissioner has asked me then to start working on a further 100 for next year. There’s two average (speed traffic) cameras currently, and then three more and then a further nine, which will be complemented by 55 of the GoSafe (speed) vans which we will increase to 58 within the coming weeks.”

Mr Horkan also raised the issue of drivers breaking red lights, saying it was “persistent and constant” at road junctions.

“I do think driver behaviour seems to be slacking off,” he added.

Mr Harris said he wants minor driver infringements, like the breaking of red lights, to be dealt with by automated enforcement.

Ms Hilman said gardai is also increasing the use of the GoSafe speed vans by 1,500 hours a month.

The cost of keeping GoSafe vans on Irish roads for 9,000 hours a month will cost a total of €5.1 million over the next 18 months.

“The nine static cameras that we will introduce before the end of the year will cost €2.4 million, and the three average speed cameras will cost about 1.5 million,” she added.

“It will cost a total of €4 million overall to have them up and running and maintained over a period of time.”

Mr Harris said these costs were “investing to save lives”.

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