Speeding cases thrown out of Limerick court

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Less than 20% of speeding prosecutions relating to detections by GoSafe vans are resulting in convictions before the courts
Less than a fifth of speeding prosecutions relating to detections by GoSafe vans are resulting in convictions.

Less than a fifth of speeding prosecutions relating to detections by GoSafe vans are resulting in convictions.

During one recent sitting of Limerick Court, just three of the nineteen cases before the court resulted in formal convictions being recorded.

While a number of cases were adjourned until later in the year, several were dismissed by the presiding judge.

While each of the cases were prosecuted by gardai, the offences were detected by civilians who operate the fleet of GoSafe vans.

The vans, which are privately operated on behalf of An Garda Siochana, are deployed at known black-spots across the country and operate round-the-clock, 365 days a year.

When speeding offences are detected, the details of the offending vehicle, the time and location of the offence are forwarded to the Garda Fixed Charge Processing Office, in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

In each case, an €80 on-the-spot fine is issued to the registered owner of the vehicle and court proceedings are initiated if the fine is not paid within 56 days.

However, at Limerick Court, almost half of the cases listed did not proceed as the operator of the GoSafe van on the date of the offence was not present in court to give evidence.

In those cases, Sgt Donal Cronin said he was withdrawing the prosecution.

While a number of motorists who attended the court admitted they had been speeding, Judge Eugene O’Kelly did not record a formal conviction.

In one case, a male driver said he had tried to pay the fine on a number of occasions and another man said it was an “oversight” that he had not paid the original fine.

In those cases, the judge said he would strike out the case if €80 contributions were paid to the court poor box.

Making a similar order relating to another case, the judge noted that the accused person had been driving less than nine kilometres per hour over the speed limit for the area.

Motorists who pay on-the-spot fines for speeding receive two penalty points on their drivers licence while those who are convicted in court receive four penalty points.

Where convictions are not recorded, no penalty points are placed on their licence.