Speed cameras saved 71 lives over past three years

New Department of Transport research presented at conference

Study compared fatalities and injuries at sites where safety cameras were positioned against locations which did not have a camera present. Photograph: Frank Miller /	THE IRISH TIMES

Study compared fatalities and injuries at sites where safety cameras were positioned against locations which did not have a camera present. Photograph: Frank Miller / THE IRISH TIMES

 

Speed cameras on Irish roads have saved 71 lives over the past three years, according to Department of Transport research.

Department of Transport economist Derek Rafferty said a significant number of injuries had also been prevented during the same period, and the cameras yielded an overall net benefit of some €70 million annually.

Mr Rafferty, who was speaking at the 11th Irish Society of New Economists conference at NUI Galway (NUIG) yesterday, said the research was based upon a “comprehensive controlled” study. It compared fatalities and injuries at sites where safety cameras were positioned against locations that did not have a camera present.

There has been a 52 per cent reduction in deaths on Irish roads from 2005 to 2013, which places Ireland second to Sweden on Europe’s road safety table, he said.

The cameras run by the Go Safe consortium were introduced on a phased basis from late 2010, with an operating cost of €16 million.

Incomes from fines covered less than half of this running cost, but savings in human and economic terms were considerable, he said.