‘Money trapping’ speed vans sparking fury - TD

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A Buncrana TD says he’s been bombarded with calls from angry Inishowen motorists who claim ‘money trapping’ speed vans are being used at the wrong times and locations.

Inishowen Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn said he too is a victim of a speeding fine after being caught a couple of kph over the limit - which he says he holds his hands up for.

He said he’s received a lot of calls from drivers who have been caught slightly over the speed limit, attracting an 80 euro fine and two penalty points, leaving a ‘sour taste in people’s mouths’.

He told the Journal: “A lot of people have expressed anger to me about the speed vans out there.

“People are getting tickets who are slightly over in a 30kph or 40kph speed zone.

“Everybody agrees there is an issue with some of the vans in Inishowen and there needs to be more enforcement in the early hours of the morning and weekends.

“We had a council motion passed unanimously, recently, calling on the Gardai to deploy more people out at times when the majority of speeding takes place.

“What we had with these speed cameras is a very robotic response and quite frankly sending them to 50kph or 60kph speed limits during the day is really not where the problem is.

“My problem is you could have someone doing 85kph in an 80kph zone and get the same ticket and penalty points as someone doing 110kph in an 80kph zone.

“To go over by a couple of kph is not a huge offence, but it is treated the same.

“There is a lot of anger out there and a lot of people have got points, I know personally safe and sensible drivers that have been given tickets and they are just drifting over the speed limit.”

Deputy MacLochlainn said speed problems in the peninsula are mostly in the very early hours of the morning and weekends and that’s when he believes the speed camera van should be operating the most.

He said following the complaints he met with Buncrana Garda who have assured him the mobile vans are operating on a rota system.

He said he was informed they operate in three eight hour shifts and are there at equal times during the day and night. He said he has conveyed to Gardai that there is a ‘resentment’ out there about the locations.