Tuesday, 16 November 2010

GoSafe rolls out Irish speed cameras (see map below)

From today, a private consortium called GoSafe starts operating a new network of speed cameras across the State. The network will consist of between 45 to 50 mobile cameras (I’ve seen different numbers quoted) switching between 600 locations. The map below purports to reveal the possible locations:

GoSafe speed camera location map

Nearly a year ago, Gombeen Nation carried a post which pointed out that GoSafe needs to generate more than €16 million per year just to cover the consortium's running costs.  GoSafe is not in this for the public good, however, it is in it for a profit.

According to Stephen Carroll, writing in last Saturday’s Irish Times, the “secretary general of the Department of Justice, Se├ín Aylward, previously estimated the proposed network may generate half a million speeding penalties a year. At €80 per speeding fine, the privatised speed cameras alone could generate roughly €40 million a year.”

If those figures and projections are correct, that is a €24 million surplus per annum in fines. €24 million!

That means GoSafe (which is led by the Spectra company) and the Government want you to speed, in order to make their money.  It also means that you run a vastly increased risk of fines for minor speedometer transgressions, and an increased risk of insurance hikes due the resultant penalty points.

“Kill your speeed and save liiives”  is the lazy mantra we keep hearing.  And not much thought goes into a mantra, which works by constant, mindless, repetition.    Not only that, it is very convenient for the authorities, who can abdicate any real responsibility for road safety and driver education by simply farming out lucrative work to a fleet of Spectra vans.

Let’s be clear on this: bad driving costs lives... and Ireland is awash with bad drivers. Much of Germany’s motorway network does not have a mandatory speed limit, yet the autobahns are Germany’s safest roads, according the ADAC (the German AA).

So, plainly, if the Germans are not dying like splattered windscreen flies on their motorways, speed is not the only issue at play – bad driving is. What’s more, speedo watching does not make a good driver.

For the record, even the RSA – the quango charged with road safety in Ireland – claims that speed is “the main cause” in just 15% of fatal two-vehicle accidents. Driving on the wrong side of the road caused 52% of road deaths. Please don’t tell me that people were more interested in keeping to the speed limit when overtaking than doing so quickly and smartly?

The same organisation claimed that speed was the main “contributory factor” in 54% of single-vehicle accidents.  Well what were the other factors then, or are they bothered?   Overloaded cars? Drunk drivers? Drugged drivers?  Dangerous roads? Pedestrians on unlit rural roads with no footpaths?  Bald tyres? Old cars without stability control systems (which the Government continues to tax)? Inexperienced, over-confident young male drivers? And the great unsaid - suicides?

Is GoSafe and Spectra going to address that lot then?

No doubt, in years from now, the road safety industry can point to falling fatalities where speed cameras are located. The fact however, is that road fatalities have been steadily and consistently falling, as vehicles become safer and roads become better.

Road deaths have been decreasing for years in Ireland, where speed cameras have been few and far between in comparison to Britain.   They will continue to decrease. But in future GoSafe and Spectra will be able to hijack the figures to justify their own existence and profits.

We are being had.

Again.

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23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unrelated but something you really should read :)

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/education/2010/1116/1224283400543.html

Neelly said...

I see on the map that three out of the four nearest places to me that are speed, sorry safety camera enabled have to the best on my knowledge never had an accident on them in the seven years I’ve lived here. So where is the sense in that.
Or is it that a two of them are nice strait bits of dual carriageway that have an 80kph limit. Nothing at all to do with revenue!!

The Gombeen Man said...

Very unrelatated, Max.

Yes Neely, and I know of spots where there have been road deaths and are unmolested by a red line on the GoSafe map.

Anonymous said...

The road between Ennis and Kilrush now has 4 revenue generating locations on it. The stretches of road are the safest places to overtake as one can see well in to the distance. I appreciate some people have died but in comparison with the volume of traffic the fatalities are low. I drive a high powered car, I overtake slow drivers when it's safe to do so, therefore freeing traffic and making the roads safer and driving to the limit I pay my taxes to drive at. I never have people behind me frustrated at my driving, I never have people behind me period, unless I'm held up. My brakes are the best I could get and so are my tires. The slow drivers on this road will now entice drivers to overtake where they wouldn't have before as the safe spots are now a revenue generator thus making the road more dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just read the sign off bit for Pseudonym I posted the Kilrush Ennis road comment, I'd take the Pseudonym West Clare if that's ok

Anonymous said...

Another Government Scam
In our very first months at university we are told the importance of gathering as much data as possible on any project, essay or dissertation that we undertake.

The Irish Department of Transport have completely ignored other data and statistics relating the efficacy of speed cameras.

In the UK, speed camera’s were the brain child of Peter Mandelson as a means of gathering quick money; it was virtual extortion and an act of hostility against the motorist. Peter Mandelson had a luxurious chauffer driven car.

I realise the open and honest Irish government would never stoop to extorting money out of anyone, especially motorists. Not fucking half.

When I was sitting in the airport earlier today I was having pleasant chatter with a Dublin lady. She said “Is that falla Gay Byrne mixed up in transport? I said “ I don’t know, I thought he has long since retired and was living in obscurity”. She said, Oh no! he was given a plumb job by the government, something to do with transport. Later on I realised that she was right and Gay Byrne was involved in the "Better Safer Driver" Campaign. I wonder he was one of the advisors to yet another government scam to screw the people up the ass.

Hmm, I thought, a combination of Peter Benjamin Mandelson and Gabriel Mary Byrne (Gayboy). Now! that makes one think; it makes me shudder.

Dakota said...

Just ANOTHER Quango! Anyone that drives the roads in Dublin and Ireland for that matter, and who are honest enough, will tell you, it's NOT speed which is the main problem. It is in fact a symptom of the now ever present problem which is the legacy of the celtic tiger meeting Gombeen Ireland. Drink, drugs, stupidity, unthinking thugery, glaringly stupid headlights (Bumpkins at dawn), not knowing your left from your right (I actually saw a loony tune indicating right to use a slip road on their left recently!(M50))take your pick, all of the above? Your choice.
The list is endlessssss. Q. How can you get any of these on camera? A. You can't. But you will get an unfortunate going half a kilometer over coming down a steep incline!lol
Its a MONEY RACKET. Joe and Josephine Mugs esq will pay through the nose for it again. How many of those unfortunate accidents of late were purely due to speed?
This Again is the easiest, laziest option. No thought, no imagination, no care. Just bung it in and no one will notice.

Ella said...

@ GM, "The number of accidents on roads next to Swindon's shrouded speed cameras is the same now as when they were active, according to council figures." - and they should know. So the government should not be wasting our hard earned dosh on something that in fact would appear to be unnecessary. Full story
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/england/8636654.stm

@Dakota - spot on it's a money racket to catch people who are over the speed limit and takes no account of all the gobshites on the road who just can't drive.

Anonymous said...

What about the frigging pot holes the size of a dinner plate and the depth of a pint mug. This topic was addressed last year on GM, but frig all has been done. The money could have been used to repair the roads instead of cameras.
I just drove from Enniskillen to Belturbet, and as soon as we crossed the border the roads showed all the signs of dilapidation and collapse. In the North, even the by-roads were in better condition that the main road in Cavan.

Dakota said...

It has to be tried and failed elsewhere to be used here. Thats a serious problem with this country.
I have a feeling if the UK had the choice they wouldn't touch it with a barge pole again.
Of course Joe and Josephine has been softened up well in advance of there introduction here and it fell into place oh so easily.

Anonymous said...

There is one golden rule in driving acknowledged by all the experts worldwide. You must at all times be travelling at a speed that enables you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear (half that distance in real terms), on the same side of the road and without drama (no skidding). Most people don't do this and there lies the real problem. Sure, stick to speeds below the limit to avoid getting a ticket but even more importantly always remember the rule above because it is no consolation being legally in the right when you are in a collision. The reality is that we all overestimate our driving ability by a huge margin, it's part of the human animal to do so. Drive defensively if you really want to make a contribution to road safety. The speed camera network won't have much, if any net effect and as Gombeen Man says, they want you to speed to stay in business.

Flanman

Anonymous said...

Mr Flanman
You have summed up to situation succinctly. It is to the advantage of the Irish exchequer that the camera’s earn their keep. Another important consideration is the integrity of firm that has been awarded the contract to install the camera’s. It could also be asked which minister of the government are the owners of the firm related to in terms of: “keep it in the family”.

Anonymous said...

To Mr Flanman

"The reality is that we all overestimate our driving ability by a huge margin, it's part of the human animal to do so." Proof of this would be great, explain nervous drivers succinctly if you can.

West Clare.

Anonymous said...

Succinctly Speaking !!!

“A Type Personality”
I will gladly be succinct, because there is a plethora of research to prove that reckless driving is associated with Type A Behaviour (TAB): 0.9% of people in Western Society (Ireland included) experience this malady.

The main characteristics are:

Time Urgency and Impatience, as demonstrated by people who, among other things, get frustrated while waiting in line, interrupt others often, walk or talk at a rapid pace, and are always painfully aware of the time and how little of it they have to spare. It is also called ‘The White Rabbit Syndrome’ from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland., i.e. "I'm late, I'm late, etc...

The person experiences Free-Floating Hostility or Aggressiveness, which shows up as impatience, rudeness, being easily upset over small things, or ‘having a short fuse’, for example. Reason and logic go out the window.

Many people working in the Stock Exchange and in Investment Banking are plagued with this malady, where they are completely insightless to logic and reason, and their conduct causes world wide financial catastrophe and mayhem just like reckless drivers and arrogant Irish politicians.
TAB does not respond well to therapy other than to powerful tranquilizers.

The bibliography and references are too great to include here but I suggest that you read.
What Does It Mean To Have A "Type A" Personality?
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com Guide Updated November 08, 2007.

David Brendan McGinnity Ph.D.

Anonymous said...

To David Brendan McGinnity Ph.D.

I've heard of the book, it's an interesting argument, of course there's the testosterone argument also, and as you display you having a doctorate I presume your well read and have come across this before. I would term reckless driving personally, as not driving within the limits of ones ability, or the vehicles ability, and not being aware or not caring, to anticipate other drivers actions. I see this in some, fast drivers, and some slow drivers. I read in another forum post, a gentleman giving out that he was a responsible driver and lambasted lads driving like Michael Schumacher, "retarded", were his words. The gentleman did not sound like a Type A Personality but, his statement lacked insight, logic, and reason, and seemed like he had a short fuse. Most people who know to invoke Michael Schumacher in a argument, would know he's the best driver ever, wet or dry, to continue, the gentleman isn't aware of the ability of the drivers he's lambasting. These Type A people sound like alpha males or winners to me. If all people in Ireland were Type A then we'd have gotten rid of Fianna Fail and the rest a long time ago. I found the explanation somewhat dry.

West Clare

Anonymous said...

The Testosterone argument is a bit facile, considering that women use virtually as much testosterone as men, but only they use it in a different way. Also women can be just as menacing as men whilst driving, as they can in all aspects life, that is why we love them so much. Well I do !!

I am informed that Michael Schumacher despises domestic driving and sees virtually no correlation between driving for sport and domestic driving. To the best of my knowledge does not even own a car, and he employs a chauffer to drive him.


You say that: "I found the explanation somewhat dry". If it was my explanation that was dry or unclear then I apologise unreservedly .

I have got a faulty human characteristic called ‘imperfection’ and I get lots of things wrong and I make many, many mistakes. I change my mind continuously about things in the light of new information and I have a Total Inconclusive Personality.
DBMG.

Dakota said...

DBMG, I often wonder if its not dissociative identity disorder (two or more clearly distint personalities within the same individual) which some drivers maybe displaying. As you know TAB is a somewhat controversial theory but IMO it gives people an overall contextual starting point, to come to grips with driving behaviour (as the available direct stats are lacking). While TAB Theory may explain individual compulsion and possible motives, I don't think it's the full story. I think what we are witnessing on especially Dublin roads, is also a combination of other factors. Namely, specific cultural values, postmodern angst, phychosis, individual depression, increased personal wealth, driver attitudes and expectations, substance abuse, etc.
Having said that, even if only one of these factors was the main motivational factor for Dublin drivers, it still would be nonetheless daunting. Driving in Dublin is such a completely different experience to any other country I have driven in. The atmosphere on Dublin roads, especially in the last four years is completely juxtaposed to the early 00s and before. Two fundamental things I have noticed on Dublin roads over this time are; (1)traffic volumes have increased (2)and peoples driving behaviour and attitudes have declined, significantly. When I say declined, I mean to such an extent, that it's nothing more than dangerous and in some instances suicidal.
Another interesting book on TAB, Too Perfect:When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by J Dewyze.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that no one has replied to Dakota's discourse. I wonder why?

Dakota said...

GM I posted a reply to Anon 10:13. It wasn't uploaded for some reason?? Hey ho. Just to say to Anon shallowness is not one of my weaknesses, so no reply is good for me. Actually come to think of it it's probably better. Though I'm interested in your motivation. Did I say something to offend you? I detect rawness in your tone.

The Gombeen Man said...

No, didn't get that one D. Sometimes the old Blogger platform can be a bit glitchy.

Just on the general subject of driving in Ireland, I've got to say that the M50 is the scariest stretch of road I've ever been on.

I've driven to south of Spain (many times), I've driven in Germany on an unrestricted Autobahn at 250 km/h (just for a small bit!!), Belgium, France, Luxembourg Swizerland and Liechtenstein.

On the M50 the inside lane (when in use at all) is sometimes faster than the outside overtaking lane, while traffic in the middle alternates between between faster and slower than both of the others. It's a nightmare trying to plan your exit at the next junction as you can't gauge the relative speed of traffic in the three lanes, as you can elsewhere.

Scary.

Anonymous said...

Anyone wonder why in the Speed traps (yes I said it for what it is) that they are mostly long sections of road that go from a high speed down to a low speed in a short space where the lower speed is marked by one of Irelands own, tiny speed signs. The only country in Europe to have speed signs so small. If speed were truly the consideration would the sign not be made the standard size, or biger than standard. Also in a build up area where trafic lights, directional sign posts and pedestrains "distract" a driver from staring at the speedo to ensure the hiden speed limit is aheared to. A welcome surpise to all our tourist in the summer who rent a car. I hope they all get told to look up the "Garda web site" before they tour our wonderfull country.

Sam
sam

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, Sam. It's a joke. It's all about money, because as soon as GoSafe take their agreed cut, the rest of the money will go to the State.

Tax by another name, plus points on your licence.

althinking said...

I wrote a free (yes FREE) app for android phones that warns you when you enter one of the 500+ GoSafe safety camera zones. It’s available free on the Android market: “Irish Safety Camera Locations” or at: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.althinking.safetycameraloc

My contribution to road safety :)
Al