State pays out €88m to speed camera firm

Mattie McGrath: Questioning cost of system.

The State has spent almost €88m on payments to a private company which operates speed camera vans, and has collected €32.7m in fines from motorists over the same period.

The discrepancy between the two figures has led to one TD calling upon the Government to review the contract the State has with private speed camera operators.

Figures released by the Department of Justice revealed that from 2010 to July 22 last, the State has paid €87,951,268 under the safety camera contract to private operators.

The department also disclosed that receipts generated for the State under the same contract totalled €32,689,120 over the same period.

The figures were released following a parliamentary question from Independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath.

“There is no doubting the impact of the safety camera regime on reducing road fatalities and accidents particularly in areas that have been blighted by these incidents over the years, and indeed I am not suggesting that they be removed entirely,” said Mr McGrath.

“What I am questioning, however, is the enormous costs associated with operating the Garda Safety Camera Contract. In each year from 2012-2015 it cost the State over €17m to maintain the contract with a cost of almost €16m in 2011. For the same period of 2010 to date, revenue generated by from the safety camera contract has totalled over €32m.

“This means that there is just over €54m in the difference between the operation of the contract and the revenue that it creates. In light of that I think we need to have a much more detailed conversation around how the money might be better spent, even in terms of robustly resourcing the Garda Traffic Corps.

“We know that serious issues around the legality of the contract have been raised several times by judges in district courts and this is yet another reason why the issue needs to be re-examined.”


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