The gardaí paid a speed-camera operator nearly €14.8m last year, but took in only €5.6m in speed-fines as a result.
The new details have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Since 2010, the gardaí have used safety cameras to try to make roads safer, using the service provider Go Safe to operate them on their behalf.
Go Safe’s high-vis vans monitor vehicles speed throughout the country, with at least 7,400 enforcement hours in various counties every month.
But the state pays the company far more than it takes in from its speed fines.
Between 2017 and 2019, the gardaí paid GoSafe more than €44m but the revenue generated in fines from its detections was only €18.1m.
That’s a ‘loss’ of nearly €26m.
Last year, the gardaí got nearly €5.6 in fines from Go Safe detections - the lowest amount in the past three years.
Sinn Féin's justice spokesman Martin Kenny says the work should be done by the gardaí themselves.
“I would be very much in favour of garda resources being put into providing the service directly themselves,” said Mr Kenny.
“I think these things done through private companies can often turn out to be much more expensive and less flexible than if the gardaí are actually doing them.”
The gardaí say the primary purpose of high-vis enforcement activity is not to generate money but to save lives.