Gardaí launch Safety Camera Expansion with 903 new safety camera zones





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Safety Camera Expansion 2020

  • 903 new safety camera zones from 06:00 on Monday 17th February
  • A total of 1,322 safety camera zones nationwide
  • Safety cameras are proven life savers
  • All safety camera zones (high risk locations) available on Garda website
  • 575 safety camera zones have been removed following a review
  • More than 1.5m speeding tickets issued since introduction of safety cameras (AGS & GoSafe)

Since 2010, An Garda Síochána has contributed to making our roads safer through the use of safety cameras, using a service provider ‘GoSafe’ to operate them on its behalf. The primary purpose of safety cameras is to reduce speed related collisions, lessen injuries and save lives.

Safety cameras operate in areas where there is a history of speed related collisions, known as speed enforcement zones, using a fleet of marked vehicles* (see attached image).

Road deaths have decreased from 415 in 2000 to 148 in 2019 (provisional). This shows a dramatic reduction in terms of risk and a huge increase in terms of road safety. All zones are available on the Garda website and available for GPS Navigation providers such as Garmin, TomTom, Google Maps or Waze to download.

An Garda Síochána recently initiated an updated collision analysis of the road network based on the most recent available collision statistics. The objective was to take a proactive approach in the prevention of fatalities and life changing injuries by identifying ‘GoSafe’ monitoring locations and in particular areas not currently being monitored by ‘GoSafe’ where collisions occurred.

For example in 2019 Q1, 85% of fatalities occurred outside GoSafe zones. New locations were selected using data available examining fatal & serious injury collision locations.

The review also identified locations where the compliance levels had increased, fatal and serious injuries had significantly reduced. These 575 collision prone zones have been removed from the list. It is acknowledged that this implies improved behavior by drivers at these locations.

Collision data from the Garda Pulse system was extracted. The data analysis included type of collision (fatal serious and minor) and the coordinates of where each of these took place. The data looked at the previous three years from January 2016 – December 2018 and consisted of approximately 18,000 data points.

Each type of collision (fatal, serious, and minor) was assigned a weighted value.
As a result of this comprehensive analysis, potential zones were identified:-

  • 9.5% were on local roads,
  • 52.3% on regional roads,
  • 28.8% on national roads
  • 3.6% on were motorways
  • 5.8% on Unclassified Roads – Street Name, Road Name, Tertiary

In total, there are now 1,322 speed enforcement zones nationwide where safety cameras will operate effective from 06:00 on Monday 17th February 2020.

Superintendent Tony Lonergan of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said today:
“We now have an increased number of safety camera zones with the introduction of 903 new zones commencing from 6am on 17th February. The safety cameras are proven life savers and only operate in areas which have a speed related collision history where fatal, serious injury and now minor injury collisions occur. By identifying and targeting these high risk areas our aim is to continue to reduce the number and severity of collisions, thus save more lives and prevent more injuries from occurring. This makes the roads safer for every road user.”

Superintendent Lonergan continued:-
“There is no doubt these safety cameras save lives. Saving lives and preventing injuries is one of our top priorities and we urge every driver to become familiar with the full list of speed enforcement zones, available on the Garda website. We appeal to all drivers to drive safe, complying with posted speed limit signs not just for the GoSafe zones but for the duration of their journey. Reducing your speed will save lives and make the road safer for all.”

Commenting on the announcement Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said, “Speed remains the single biggest contributory factor to road deaths in this country and is estimated to be a factor in a third of fatal crashes. Driving too fast increases your risk of being involved in a crash and increases the severity of a crash.

Safety cameras have been in operation in this country for a decade now and are proven lifesavers. Deaths and injuries, as a result of speeding, in collision prone zones where they are located have dropped. I welcome this review of locations by An Garda Síochána, which is based on speed related crash data and I would remind people that the locations can be found on the Garda website.
The locations are also being shared with satellite navigation companies. That’s because this whole project is about stopping people from speeding not catching people speeding. So there really is no excuse.”

The rollout of new speed detection devices to Roads Policing Units is ongoing and Gardaí will continue to enforce the speed limits nationwide in addition to the ‘GoSafe’ consortium who will operate at camera safety zones.

Rationale for Safety Cameras

Despite excellent progress over the last decade or so, road traffic collisions still remain a significant cause of death and injury in Ireland. Each year almost 200 people are killed and close to 6,000 are injured on the Irish road network.
Irish and international research indicates that up to 30% of road collisions have speed as a contributory factor. Measures to reduce traffic speed are considered key to reducing casualties on the road. Increasing use of technology is seen as the way forward in the battle against road deaths.

In Ireland speed or safety cameras are one technological innovation used to help reduce traffic speeds, traffic collisions, and casualties. A major expansion of the safety camera network has been underway in Ireland since 2010.
This study carried out a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis in respect of the national safety camera network in Ireland (the study covers only those cameras operated by the private company GoSafe on behalf of An Garda Síochána). The aim was to assess what benefits, if any, the cameras delivered for Ireland. It is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Ireland’s first cost-benefit analysis of safety cameras

The critical part of the analysis was an assessment of the effectiveness of safety cameras in reducing the numbers of deaths and injuries on Irish roads. In order to isolate the impact of the cameras on road accidents a controlled before and after study was used to compare fatalities and injuries at sites where safety cameras were positioned vis-à-vis sites which did not have any camera present. Time trend, seasonality, traffic levels and regression to mean were controlled for.
The costs of installing and operating safety cameras were contrasted with the monetary value of benefits brought about by their presence on the Irish road network. This included the annual income generated by speeding fines and the value of lives saved and injuries prevented.

The results of the study show that safety cameras are an effective means of reducing road traffic collisions and related deaths and injuries in Ireland and because of this they generate a significant benefit to Irish society of over €70 million each year. Even when modelling with more pessimistic assumptions (e.g. a decline in incident reductions, reductions in fine income etc.) the analysis still showed that the cameras produced a substantial net benefit over their costs.
Contrary to popular belief Irish safety cameras are not a ‘cash cow’ for the State. The operational costs of running safety cameras in Ireland are more than double the fine income they generate.

Cameras- costing money but saving lives

The cost benefit analysis (CBA) carried out in this Study has clearly demonstrated that the use of safety cameras has generated substantial net benefits to Ireland- more than €70 million per year. In addition their ‘pay back’ period is practically immediate. From the first year of their operations the overall monetary value of the benefits they delivered far exceeded their costs. This was the case even when the data was remodelled using more pessimistic assumptions about the various values of costs and benefits.

Safety cameras may not be real revenue raisers but they are life savers. Evidence derived from the analysis has shown that almost 24 lives have been saved each year since 2011 because of the presence of safety cameras on the Irish road network. To put this into context this represents an approximate 12% saving on road fatalities based on the provisional data supplied by the Road
Safety Authority in respect of 2013. A significant number of serious and minor injuries were also prevented from occurring simply because the cameras were in operation.




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