‘Average speed’ traffic cameras to be set up on N2, N3 and N5 by autumn

Average speed cameras record vehicles at two distinct points a set distance apart

New average speed cameras are to go live on the N2, N3 and N5 roads this autumn, the Garda has confirmed.

Average speed cameras record vehicles at two distinct points a set distance apart, and note the exact time a vehicle passes each camera. The operation allows the Garda to accurately calculate the speed of a vehicle over longer distances than a single, static camera.

The N2 road is a national primary route running from Dublin to the Northern Ireland Border near Aughnacloy in Co Tyrone. A section of the route near Dublin is classed as a motorway and designated the M2.

The N3 road is also a national primary route. It travels from Dublin to Cavan and the border with Co Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. Part of the route through Co Meath is designated the M3 which continues to north of Kells. It continues as the N3 to Co Cavan and the Northern Ireland Border at Co Fermanagh. Beyond Fermanagh the route becomes the N3 again and continues to Ballyshannon in Co Donegal.


The N5 road is also a national primary route. It connects Longford Town with Westport in Co Mayo.

The precise locations for the new average speed cameras is currently being worked out by the Garda and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). The criteria for the locations include an assessment of the potential for dangerous speeds and the number of crashes on the road.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said average speed cameras had reduced road fatalities in Scotland.

Separately, Mr Ryan said a review of the Road Safety Authority is underway, “partly because of increases in road deaths, but also because it makes sense to continue to evolve and develop our institutions”.

“I think it needs to improve and I think we need to help it improve and make sure it has the resources and has the necessary staff and it has the remit.

“You can never be satisfied at a time when road deaths are increasing,” he said.

As part of the response to rising road deaths, the Garda is also planning to install nine, new static speed cameras, which measure the speed of vehicles passing a single point, in late 2024. These are due to be in place by the end of the year and will be active in early 2025. The Garda said a decision on the locations for static speed cameras is to be made later this month.

There are just two stretches of roads in the State which are covered by average speed cameras, part of the M7 near Birdhill, in Co Tipperary, and the Dublin Tunnel, between Dublin Port and the M50, near Santry. Both areas have seen a significant reduction in cases of speeding.

The Garda Press Office said Garda Drew Commissioner Harris “has decided that the introduction of these cameras is being funded from the Garda Vote [budget]. They are not being funded by any other State body.”

The Garda said the latest moves were an example of the force investing in technology to support road safety. “Such investment includes a mobility device that every front-line Garda has that enables them to issue fixed charge notices at roadside and check vehicle details.

“In addition, there has been investment in new hand-held speed detection devices, drug detection devices, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, and roads policing vehicles,” it said.

Last week Commissioner Harris committed every uniformed garda to at least 30 minutes per shift working of road safety measures.

The Garda said “following additional Government funding”, it has also increased the hours of operation of the privately operated GoSafe detection vans “with a focus on locations with high levels of collisions”.

A new, privately operated speed camera contract, for which expressions of interest were called in recent weeks, envisages an expansion of these this type of monitoring by mobile vans. The eight year contract is worth up to €206 million.

Chief executive of TII Peter Walsh said in February that exchequer grants of €298 million would be available for current and capital road protection and renewal works this year.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist