Byrne in plea for speed-camera cash

More people will die on the roads unless the Government provides the money for speed cameras in tomorrow’s Budget, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) chairman warned today.

Gay Byrne said funding that was promised five years ago must be set aside for the long-delayed roll-out of a private network.

“I will be disenchanted if there is not the budget for speed cameras because we were promised them five years ago,” he said.

“(Speed cameras) are a very important component of the 126 points on our safety strategy.

“If not put into effect, they will most assuredly cost lives and the speed cameras are part and parcel.”

Mr Byrne told the RSA’s conference in Croke Park the group has been battling for funding for 600 private speed cameras, which was promised five years ago.

In 2007 by October 13, 263 people had been killed in road accidents while this year there have been 227 deaths.

Mr Byrne warned about the dangers of complacency on safety after it was revealed road deaths fell by 36 this year compared with the same period last year.

“The problem with complacency is governments tend to lurch from crisis to crisis,” the RSA chairman continued.

“The danger is that governments will say the crisis is taken care of, ’we used to have a problem in road safety but the RSA is taking care of that’.

“Our function in the RSA is to ensure they don’t do that and that is why we’re waiting for news tomorrow.”

Mr Byrne was addressing the International Conference on Road Safety organised as part of Irish Road Safety Week.

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