Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) is working with the Irish police force, An Garda Síochána, on the installation of the country’s first average-speed camera enforcement system, which will be deployed on one of the busiest sections of the motorway network.
Opened in 2006, and the third-longest urban motorway tunnel in Europe, the twin-bore Dublin Port Tunnel forms a key part of the M50 C-Ring road to the east of the capital. Traffic levels through the tunnel have increased by 40% over the past five years, and as a result there is statistically an increase in the potential for collisions and accidents. Average-speed camera enforcement systems look to mitigate this potential, because statistics show that there is typically a 50% reduction in the collision rate once they are in operation. The point-to-point speed camera enforcement system will monitor a driver’s average speed while driving through the Dublin Port Tunnel, and if the vehicle is above the 50mph (80km/h) speed limit, the driver will be in violation and enforcement penalties will apply.
Once the average-speed camera enforcement system determines that a vehicle has exceeded the posted limit, it will automatically create a record of the violation, which will then be transmitted to An Garda Síochána for action. The enforcement procedure will mirror the existing procedures developed by the police force for the automated processing of road traffic offenses that incur fixed charges and if applicable penalty points. Helping to raise awareness and act as a deterrent to speeding, large yellow poles carrying the cameras are currently being installed, with systems testing to follow. Upon completion of the testing procedure, it is anticipated that the full system will go live later this year.
The average speed is recorded between two camera positions close to the entrance and exits of the north and southbound tunnels, covering both lanes in each direction, with drivers switching lanes having no effect on the accuracy of the measurements. The system will not have flashing lights or other operational indications, but it will be monitoring the route 24/7.
“We welcome this enhancement to the operations of the Dublin Port Tunnel,” said Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid of the Garda National Traffic Bureau. “Due to an increase in traffic traveling through Dublin Port Tunnel, this new enforcement system provides additional support toward maintaining a safe travel experience for all users of the tunnel.”
Michael Nolan, CEO of TII, commented, “An average-speed camera enforcement system will assist in maintaining the Dublin Port Tunnel’s strong safety record. We are grateful to An Garda Síochána for supporting us with this operational improvement.