Dublin West TD Jack Chambers has described this morning’s revelations relating to the contract awarded by the Department of Justice to GoSafe to carry out speed checks as “deeply troubling”.
Figures published today show that speed van operator GoSafe was paid €1.2m per month for a six-year period up to May this year, including a fee of €151 per hour and a flat rate retainer of €45,000 each month.
“This is a vast amount of money and an enormous cost on the Exchequer,” said the Fianna Fáil TD.
"From the very outset, this information should have been publically available and not hidden or shrouded in secrecy. It is unacceptable that this information had to be sought through an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act.
“While there can be no doubting the necessity of clamping down on motorists speed on our country’s roads in order to reduce fatalities, failings around the GoSafe speed van prosecutions have been consistently highlighted by Judges around the country for some time now.
“In some instances GoSafe speeding cases at District Court have been dismissed by the Judge after hearing that motorists did not receive the fixed charge penalty notice from Gardaí, GoSafe officers were a no-show or in some cases incomplete evidence was supplied.
“Over the course of the past four years, we have seen a 40 % reduction in the number of Gardaí allocated to the traffic corps.
"It seems contradictory that while this Government cut our traffic corps they were simultaneously outsourcing and blowing millions on a company that couldn’t even provide basic evidence in Court.
“In the interest of public interest and full transparency, the department needs to outline the contract that was put in place in May.
“I am therefore calling on the Department officials who were involved in this tendering process to come before the justice committee in autumn to properly detail the terms of this contract.
“It is also necessary that the Minister details clearly on what statutory basis employees of the State privatised speed camera operation are obliged to appear in court."
Newly released figures show that country's speed van operator GoSafe was paid €1.2m per month.
The company is contracted to provide 7,000 hours of monitoring each month with a fee of €151 per hour - it also receives a retainer of €45,000 each month.
The vans were brought in to help bring down the number of fatalities on our roads. Their contract expired in May.
Conor Faughnan of the AA said that he is not surprised by the revelations.
"The thing about GoSafe is that they are a tool in the hands of the gardaí, and like speed detection equipment in the palm of a garda's hand, that's all they do - they go where the guards tell them," he said.