Road in Co Kildare tops table for speed camera fines

Section of N7 near Naas yielded €340,000 in speeding fines in first nine months of 2016

A section of N7 near Naas, Co Kildare, has topped the list of locations for speed camera fines for the second year running.

A section of N7 near Naas, Co Kildare, has topped the list of locations for speed camera fines for the second year running.

 

A section of N7 near Naas, Co Kildare, has topped the list of locations for speed camera fines for the second year running.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act to The Irish Times show that motorists on the N7 at Kill and Kill West paid more than €340,000 in speeding fines between January and September 2016, the latest period for which figures are available.

The previous year, motorists on the same stretch of road paid more than €360,000 in speeding fines.

The location is close to the transition point between the N7 and the M7, which have different speed limits.

The information obtained by The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act shows the top 10 roads where motorists incurred speeding fines for each of the past five years.

The highest earner for speed cameras over the past five years was the N11 near Arklow which yielded €594,160 for authorities.

Speeding fines paid by Irish motorists increased from €4.6 million in 2012 to €7.5 million in 2015.

Some €4.7 million was collected between January and September 2016, which was more than the entire sum collected in 2012.

The total collected since 2012 in all locations was €27.8 million.

The GoSafe fines go towards offsetting the cost of operating the speed cameras, which are ultimately loss-making for the State to the tune of €10 million annually.

Gardaí have increased the number of speed enforcement zones across Ireland in recent years, with the total standing at 1,031 in May 2016. Speed cameras are deployed at these locations in a fleet of highly visible marked vans.

According to the documents released, cameras operate in locations, or speed enforcement zones, which have been identified as “high-risk” areas for speed-related road traffic collisions. Prior to the introduction of the privately operated cameras, approximately 31 per cent of fatal collisions occurred in these zones.

Run by an Isle of Man-based consortium, GoSafe has been providing a minimum of 6,000 hours of speed enforcement per month since 2010. The consortium was last year paid €17.27 million, of which €7.5 million was recouped for the exchequer through fines paid by motorists.

The consortium initially won the €80 million contract to run a network of speed vans across Ireland in 2009. That contract expired last November 2015 and was reawarded to GoSafe last summer in a five-year deal worth up to €115.5 million.

Enforcement zones

Last year, the Garda Traffic Corps appealed for motorists to slow down after setting up 355 new speed enforcement zones in black spots across the country. These new hotspots were identified after analysis by gardaí.

A spokeswoman for the Road Safety Authority said safety cameras saved lives by reducing casualties, speeding and detections at locations which had a history of speed-related death and serious injury. “It’s also worth noting that the amount of revenue raised doesn’t cover the cost of operating the system which counters the misleading view that they are revenue-generating.

“While it really is disappointing to see so many drivers being detected for speeding offences, it certainly shows that the gardaí and the Go Safe camera network are out there enforcing speed limits signs,” she said.

“Motorists need to understand that, according to our pre-crash report, published last year, excessive speed was a factor in one in three fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012. It is still very much one of the biggest killer behaviours on our road.”

Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs for AA Ireland, said: “We know that the great majority of motorists support speed cameras and we have tested this ourselves through our members. However, there is also a cohort of 10-15 per cent who are cynical about the entire exercise and tend to believe that it’s all a money-making racket.

“While we might understand why people are cynical, I think it is disappointing in this day and age that people look at it that way. While the system appears to be making money, it actually costs more to run, so as conspiracies go, it’s a particularly bad one. Most money-making ‘rackets’ tend not to be loss-making but this one is.”

Mr Faughnan added that the real dividend comes for the State in the form of collision prevention.

Locations with the highest receipts for Go Safe speed vans:

2012:

1. N20, Creggane, Buttevant, Cork - €247,000

2. N11, Johnstown, South Arklow, Wicklow - €237,560

3. R563, East Faha, Kerry - €135,840

4. N63, Cloonreleagh, Mountbellew, Galway -€116,880

5. N59, Rosscahill, East Moycullen, Galway - €106,720

6. R390, Gneevestown, Loughnavalley, Westmeath - €106,320

7. R154, Kiltale, Trim, Meath -€101,280

8. N76, Parkmore, Kilkenny - €86,840

9. R610, Monkstown, Cork - €83,160

10. R445, Ballymany, Newbridge, Kildare - €81,000

2013:

1. N20, Creggane, Buttevant, Cork - €234,400

2. N11, Johnstown, South Arklow, Wicklow - €222,720

3. N25, Ballyadam, Cork - €154,360

4. R639, Durrow Townparks, Durrow, Laois - €93,480

5. R752, Ballyfree Glenealy Wicklow - €91,400

6. R563, East Faha, Kerry - €73,840

7. R527, Knock, Limerick - €68,360

8. R321, Cartron, Kiltimagh, Mayo - €67,440

9. N69, Billeragh, Listowel, Kerry- €64,720

10. R683, Knocknoy, Waterford - €62,160

2014:

1. N11, Stillorgan, Dublin - €248,920

2. N17, Cappanabornia, Galway - €173,120

3. N11, Johnstown, South Arklow,Wicklow - €133,880

4. N6, Garrycastle, Athlone, Westmeath - €107,680

5. N59, Rathglass, Corballa, Sligo - €101,080

6. N20, Creggane, Buttevant, Cork - €100,120

7. N21, Abbeyfeale East, Abbeyfeale, Limerick - €99,120

8. R445 Dublin Road, Kildare - €95,080

9. R445, Ballymany, Newbridge, Kildare, - €93,280

10. N80, Tullow Road, Carlow - €89,800

2015:

1. N7, Greenhills, Kill, Kildare - €197,600

2. R712, Pennefatherslot, Kilkenny, - €183,760

3. N17, Cappanabornia, Galway, - €172,120

4. N7, Kill West, Kildare - €162,520

5. Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7 - € 157,880

6. N21, Abbeyfeale East, Limerick - €142,440

7. R563, East Faha, Kerry - €129,600

8. R586 Murragh, Enniskeane, Cork €122,560

9. N3 Huntstown, Dublin 15 - €119,520

10. N17, Ballynacarrow, Sligo - €112,360

2016 (Jan-Sept):

1. N7, Greenhills, Kildare - €202,640

2. Fairview, Dublin 3 -€149,000

3. N7, Kill West, Kildare - €137,480

4. R563, Faha, Kerry - €102,880

5. Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7 - €92,920

6. N11, Kilmurray, Wicklow - €87,440

7. R586 Murragh, Enniskeane, Cork - €87,400

8. N3 Huntstown, Dublin 15 - €86,320

9. R132, Glebe South, Balbriggan, Dublin - €81,200

10. R445, Ballymany, Newbridge, Kildare - €65,680

Repeat offenders:

Total collected 2012 - Sept 2016 in counties that appear in annual top 10 lists.

Kildare €1,035,280

Cork €941,600

Dublin €935,760

Wicklow €773,000

Galway €568,840

Kerry €506,880

Limerick €309,920

Kilkenny €270,600

Westmeath €214,000

Sligo €213,440

Meath €101,280

Laois €93,480

Carlow €89,800

Mayo €67,440

Waterford €62,160

Go Safe receipts:

2012 -€4.6m

2013 - €4.4m

2014 - €6.6m

2015 - €7.5m

2016 (Jan-Sept) €4.7m