‘Process issues’ responsible for dismissal of speeding cases

Assistant Garda Commissioner responds to criticism of GoSafe work by District Court Work

Speed cameras: problems related to private operator GoSafe were linked to “process matters”. Photograph: Frank Miller

Speed cameras: problems related to private operator GoSafe were linked to “process matters”. Photograph: Frank Miller

 


An Garda Síochána believes the legislation used to prosecute motorists in the courts for speeding offences is “sound”, despite a judge expressing concern at the number of cases being dismissed or struck out.

Addressing the Oireachtas transport committee yesterday, Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey said the issues raised at Kilrush District Court by Judge Patrick Durcan, which related to private speed camera operator GoSafe, were linked to “process matters” rather than legislative problems.

Asked by Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley if the laws needed to be revised, Mr Twomey replied, “We’re happy the legislation is sound as it stands.”

Mr Twomey added: “There were a number of process issues that were raised on that particular day [by Judge Durcan] and some of those issues relate to us in An Garda Síochána, as we are the prosecutors, and GoSafe, the witnesses.”

“[The issues] have been addressed and the cases put back to a later date and the inspector from the fixed charge penalty office will be present in court to address any of the issues the district justice may have.”

Mr Twomey was called before the committee to explain difficulties experienced in securing speeding convictions due to problems with GoSafe detection systems.

Judge Durcan had described the failure of GoSafe to successfully prosecute alleged speeding motorists as “a complete waste of public money”.

“The gardaí come in and do their job perfectly in relation to those matters and you have this quango, this private company retained to prosecute these matters and one after one after one, their prosecutions seem to fall for one bad reason after another.

“It is most disappointing,” he said.

The committee had requested that Mr Twomey provide details of the number of summonses dismissed or struck out in court due to the inadmissibility of evidence given by GoSafe staff.