Government misses deadline to allow traffic cameras to be used to issue fines

The government is expected to miss a deadline to facilitate the increased use of traffic cameras to allow Gardaí to issue fines for road traffic offenses such as speeding, breaking red lights and using bus lanes illegally.

he measure, included in the government’s Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 launched 12 months ago, is seen by road safety campaigners as a key initiative to improve driver behavior.

The strategy sets the end of this year as the date for the establishment of “appropriate inter-agency administrative arrangements” for Gardaí camera-enforcement.

It has been incorporated into the Road Safety Strategy to enable improved road enforcement, including detection of violations at junctions, bus lanes and cycle lanes.

However, a senior Dublin City Council official earlier this month expressed frustration that the local authority’s extensive network of traffic cameras could not be put to better use due to delays in getting them approved to detect traffic offences.

Brendan O’Brien, the council’s acting chief traffic officer, said the council would support any proposals regarding camera-based surveillance systems that would aid road safety and traffic management in the city.

“We stand ready to make any effort necessary to achieve enforcement on the ground,” Mr O’Brien said.

He pointed out that the council, together with An Garda Síochána, had operated a successful traffic camera system to detect vehicles breaking traffic lights at an intersection with the Luas tracks on Benburb Street, which had been identified as a black spot

However, he said at a meeting of the Council’s Transport Committee that the cameras are not currently being used to detect abusive motorists as there is currently no agreement allowing fines to be imposed.

“It is frustrating for us that these measures are taking a while to be implemented because we believe they are important from a road safety perspective,” Mr O’Brien said.

While the council would accept responsibility for the use of traffic cameras for such enforcement, Mr O’Brien said he believed the right way to go was to get the National Transport Authority (NTA) to enter into an agreement with An Garda Síochána which could be used in all municipalities.

Mr O’Brien said enforcement of traffic cameras was also “at the heart” of the BusConnects scheme.

The Department of Transportation said it will take next year for the necessary legislation to be passed.

An NTA spokesman said he sees camera-based enforcement as necessary to ensure the benefits of the BusConnects program are not eroded by illegal parking and driving in bus lanes.

While there were already laws allowing the use of traffic cameras to issue fines, the spokesman said the NTA believes more legislation is likely needed “to both improve and streamline the enforcement process.” Government misses deadline to allow traffic cameras to be used to issue fines

Fry Electronics Team

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