Traffic light cameras will be installed nationwide by next year, Eamon Ryan says

Traffic light cameras will result in automatic fines for drivers captured breaking red lights

Traffic light cameras, which will capture drivers breaking red lights for automatic prosecution, will be in place by early next year, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said.

The cameras, which catch motorists who break the law by taking a picture of their registration when they fail to stop at a red light, will initially be installed in Dublin, Mr Ryan said, before being rolled out nationwide.

Mr Ryan said he was on Monday afternoon getting a briefing on the procurement of the cameras, which will also be used to fine motorists using bus lanes.

“It is first and foremost for the everyday management of bus lanes, of parking, and of traffic light adherence,” he said. “When we do surveys we find a large number of people are breaking lights and that is a huge safety concern.”


The cameras did not involve “huge costs” he said and would greatly save on resources in terms of Garda time, because fines could be processed automatically, he said.

“We are about to get them,” he said. “It will be later this year, or into early next year, when I would expect them to be in place.”

Mr Ryan was speaking to reporters at an international transport conference in Dublin on Monday.

Automated red light cameras were introduced on a pilot basis in 2015 on traffic lights at the junction of Blackhall Place and the Luas Red Line in Dublin’s north inner city by then Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe.

The cameras, which cost €30,000 to install, were operated for just six months, but in that time, 813 violations of the light were detected. Twelve offences involved road users breaking the red light more than 50 seconds after it appeared, 410 drove through the junction between five and 50 seconds after the red light appeared, while 391 detections were within five seconds.

A Transport Infrastructure Ireland report in 2016 found the “main contributory factor” for Luas crashes “is the high number of road traffic collisions” and that analysis proved “the main causation factor is red-light infringement by road vehicles at signalised junctions where the Luas interfaces with road traffic”.

Most offences were detected in the first three months of the pilot, with the numbers of drivers breaking lights having halved in the latter three months. Similar technology has been used worldwide for many years, in countries including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Red-light offences incur three penalty points and an €80 fine, rising to €120 if not paid within 28 days. There were no successful court appeals against prosecutions as a result of the pilot scheme.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times