Ireland: Doubts over plan to use speed cameras to catch drivers using phones

A legal question has arisen over plans to use speed cameras to detect motorists in Ireland who are on their phones. Last month, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said traffic cameras would soon be used to spot the use of phones behind the wheel.

It would allow the issuing of automatic fines just as the camera set-up enables automatic fines for breaking the speed limit – although recipients of fixed notices can opt for a court appearance instead, says the Irish Independent.

Ms McEntee said existing cameras could detect drivers with a phone to their ear, and would also be able to see unused phones in a driver’s lap, resulting in separate action, because that is also an infringement.

She made the remarks after checking on the ability of cameras and the practicality of taking new steps in a meeting with the Road Safety ­Authority yesterday. But it is understood legal advice is now being sought by the Department of Transport on whether legislative change is needed on the application of camera-based enforcement on the non-wearing of seatbelts and phone use.

“If not, this will proceed,” a government source said. “But if legislation is required, it will be introduced urgently. The Government is determined to allow speed cameras to catch people using their phone behind the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt, which is a legal requirement.”


Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now