This evening (November 15, 2010), the much talked about mobile speed camera network, operated by private companies, will go live across Ireland.
Massive interest in the new cameras - and their locations - caused the Garda website, www.garda.ie, to fail. The 'Speed Enforcement Zones' (SEZ) are published in full on the site and on the Facebook page of An Garda Síochána.
Although there is a lot of scepticism among motorists that the new camera network is a revenue generating exercise, the authorities are adamant that it is designed to reduce accidents and save lives first and foremost.
Hence the locations of the SEZs have apparently been chosen based on known danger areas or 'black spots'.
Additionally, the GoSafe consortium that operates the fleet of 45 mobile camera vans will be paid a flat hourly fee. The Gardaí are still responsible for applying penalty notices and fines to motorists caught speeding.
A five-year contract has been signed, reported to be worth €65 million. More than 6,000 hours of speed checks spread across the 600 zones nationally are included in that price.
TomTom is one of the first satnav companies to cover the network in detail, offering updates to existing device users via www.tomtom.com. Drivers will be alerted when they are entering a Speed Enforcement Zone.