Ireland needs more speed cameras
In an effort to improve road safety following a string of deadly accidents over the summer, Justice Minister Helen McEntee has stated that average speed cameras should become a regular occurrence on the roadways.
Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois, Ms. McEntee claimed that speeding was the leading cause of fatal accidents and that there was a “worrying trend” in road fatalities.
However, she continued, “I do think we need to look more at average speed cameras. There has been more investment in Go Safe speeding vans. Scotland is a jurisdiction with a similar population and road network, and their use of average speed cameras is far higher. We should take a closer look at how they employ technology and how they have less roads police officers, in my opinion.
She stated that a delegation from the Scottish police will meet with Garda in the upcoming month to discuss the possibility of it working. Currently, the State is testing two average speed camera projects on the M7 and in the Dublin Tunnel, and according to Ms. McEntee, those regions have a 98 percent compliance rate with speed regulations.
“I really think it would make a difference if you were to apply that to certain stretches of roads which we know are dangerous, where there are black spots,” the speaker said.
This week, the Irish Times revealed that a government internal research suggested installing cameras on 460 km of rural primary highways. The technical study on where the cameras might be useful is being worked on by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, according to Minister of Transportation Eamon Ryan. It is anticipated to be completed no later than the first quarter of the year.
When asked if the cameras will become a regular part of driving life, she responded, “I think they should be. I believe that we must utilize technology in any way is possible, whether it be fixed cameras, average speed cameras, or Go Safe vans, in order to assist us buck some of these trends.
In addition, Ms. McEntee emphasized that no Garda units were being dismantled, despite what the Garda Representative Association had said. The Garda Commissioner’s divisive working hours proposal, according to the GRA, has led to the disbanding of those units that were instrumental in bringing down Limerick’s drug gangs.
While there would be a “reorganization” of some units, she said, “there should be no diminution in the services or the response by Garda to members of the public to members of the community.” She added that she had been repeatedly assured that no units would be disbanded. She claimed that Garda Commissioner Drew Harris had given her assurances on the subject.
There won’t be any team dissolutions. There may be reorganization, and perhaps certain units will modify and adapt, but there won’t be any dissolution.
Ms. McEntee said she was aware of “problems” and agreed there was a “challenge” with Garda morale.
Like any organization of this size and scope, there will always be issues that the commissioner and his team as well as I, as the minister, must address.
She said, “I certainly accept that there are challenges and that has been very evident in the last week,” adding that the best way to resolve concerns was to gather everyone around the table and have a discussion of them. She said she had made several requests of Minister for Public Expendtiure Paschal Donohoe ahead of the budget, including that the entry and retirement ages for the Gardai were being considered.