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Garda Confidential No.: 1 800 666 111

Safety Camera Expansion 2016

On the 20th May 2016


• Over 1,000 safety camera locations nationwide from midnight 27th May 2016

• Safety cameras are proven life savers

• All high risk locations available on Garda website

• More than 938,000 speeding tickets issued since introduction of safety cameras

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 only operate in areas where there is a history of speed related collisions, known as speed enforcement zones, using a fleet of marked vehicles. Prior to the introduction of safety cameras, approximately 31% of fatal collisions occurred in these zones. In 2015 this figure had reduced to 14%. This shows a dramatic reduction in terms of risk in these areas and a huge increase in terms of road safety. All locations are available on the Garda website.

An Garda Síochána recently initiated an updated collision analysis of the road network based on the most recent collision statistics post four years of operation of the Garda mobile safety cameras. The objective was to identify new speed enforcement zones not currently being monitored as part of the current project and to remove those existing zones which were no longer high risk zones.

Collision data from the Garda Pulse system was extracted. The data included type of collision (fatal, and serious as before, but now including minor) and the coordinates of where each of these took place. The data looked at the previous five years from April 2009 – April 2014 and consisted of approximately 25,000 data points.

Each type of collision (fatal, serious, and minor) was assigned a weighted value. A fatal collision was given a value of 10, a serious collision a value of 5 and a minor collision a value of 1. A new zone must have a minimum weighted value of 10. Also, a new zone has an approximate maximum length of 10 Kilometres.

As a result of this comprehensive analysis, 355 new zones were identified:-

• 7% were on local roads,

•  54% on regional roads,

• 32% on national roads

• 7% on were motorways

• 49 zones were identified for removal due to zero collisions in past 5 years.

In total, there are now 1,031 speed enforcement zones nationwide where safety cameras operate effective from midnight 27th May 2016.

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said today:-

An Garda Síochána is delighted to announce the expansion of this vital road safety measure. 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 them roads safer for every road user.”

Chief Superintendent Reid continued:-

There is no doubt these safety cameras save lives. This has been independently confirmed*. They actually operate at a financial loss, but the human savings are incalculable. Saving lives and preventing injuries is our number one goal and we urge every driver to become familiar with the full list of speed enforcement zones, freely available on the Garda website, so that they know to take extra care when travelling on these 1,000 plus stretches of high risk road.”


‘GoSafe’ monitoring commenced operation on a phased basis in November 2010 and reached full operational capacity in March 2011. GoSafe are contracted to provide a minimum of 7,375 hours speed enforcement and 100 hours surveying per month as directed by An Garda Síochána. GoSafe are also set key performance indicators to ensure enforcement is targeted at key days and times – with a particular emphasis on night time and weekends.

    * GoSafe have completed over 421,000 hours of enforcement and 35,000 hours of speed surveys since launch (up to end December 2015)

    * The number of vehicles detected in excess of the speed limit is on average 1.49 person per hour is detected by GoSafe

    * More than 938,000 fixed charge notices for non-intercept speeding offences have been issued in the same time by both Garda and GoSafe operations. 

    * Compliance rates from January 2013 to December 2015 by Speed band are as follows:





























Key Numbers

5.24- Number of times that camera benefits exceed costs

16.6 (€m)- Total average annual cost of the camera system.

23- Number of lives saved in each full year of camera operations

40- Number of serious accidents the cameras have prevented each year.

45 %- Percentage of costs covered by fine income.

86.1 (€m)-Annual economic benefit of safety cameras.

727- Number of GoSafe camera locations around Ireland.

910 (€m)- Economic cost of road accidents in Ireland in 2013.


Executive Summary

Main Research Findings

• Since 2011 safety cameras have prevented 71 deaths on Ireland’s roads

• Fine income covers less than half of the system’s overall operating costs

• The benefits of safety cameras outweigh their costs by more than 5 to 1.

• Safety cameras are clearly and unambiguously a cost-effective road safety measure.

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- see the table below for more details. 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.


Summary of Cost Benefit Assessment of Safety cameras in Ireland


Accident Savings


Fine revenue


(a) Total Benefits



GoSafe Contract


Signage etc.








(b) Total Costs


Net Benefits (a)-(b)


Benefit-Cost Ratio



Derek Rafferty 


July 2014