Speed cameras "in wrong place"
by Caoimhinn Barr, Inishowen Independent
INISHOWEN speed cameras are in the wrong place,
targeting the wrong people. That’s the claim of a
Buncrana taxi driver, who is convinced that the aim
of the scheme is to make money rather than to save
lives on the roads.
Speaking to the Inishowen Independent, Barney
Griffin said that hundreds of perfectly safe drivers
are being fined in restricted zones because they are
“These cameras are sitting on the approaches into
towns like Buncrana because that’s where they can
make the most money. We are reaching a scenario
where it is becoming difficult not to get points.
There are lots of poor people getting points and
fines, who shouldn’t be. They are not dangerous or
reckless drivers,” he said.
“More than thirty people have been killed on the
Burt to Bridgend road over the years yet there are
no cameras there because it is harder to catch
people out on a 100kms route. I was told by the
Gardai that these cameras would concentrate on
accident black spots but that has not happened.”
A former fireman who attended the scene of scores of
accidents, Barney said that the vast majority occur
between midnight and 5am while the speed vans
operate largely during daylight hours.
“I welcome the introduction of cameras here but not
if they are just to catch drivers who are doing six
or seven kms over the speed limit on the outskirts
of a town. I know a man in Fahan who was caught
twice inside the space of three hours. He was hit
with four penalty points and a fine for €160 even
though he had never been booked in his life before,”
Cashel na Cor in Umricam, Buncrana,
where drivers are getting speeding fines.
Meanwhile a number of
disgruntled local drivers have expressed their anger
after being issued with speeding fines in a
restricted zone, which, they claim, is not properly
The local motorists were snapped by a specialised
blue van fitted with speed cameras on the main Carn
to Buncrana road near the Cashel Na Cor Centre.
The area, less than a mile from the Cockhill Bridge,
carries a 60kph speed limit but only one partially
hidden sign warns drivers to slow down.
The speed trap, just yards past the sign, only
visible to drivers at a distance of fifty yards, is
understood to have snared scores of oblivious
drivers, who were subsequently issued with postal
A Clonmany man, who did not wish to be named, said
he was disgusted after his wife was fined €80 and
handed two penalty points after being caught doing
69kph in what she thought was an 80kph zone.
“I thought we were fine because I was sure it was an
80 zone. Where they were sitting, near the Cashel Na
Cor centre, we had no chance to slow down. My wife
has never been fined for anything like this before;
it’s nothing more than a deliberate ploy to make
money from easy targets,” he blasted angrily.
Road safety campaigner Susan Gray said that
Inishowen motorists going above the limit had little
cause for complaint.
“I welcome the speed cameras. They are there for a
reason and that is to encourage people to slow down
whether it is in the middle of a town or in more
rural areas. People can’t call for the introduction
of speed cameras on one hand and then complain as
soon as they’re brought in.”
“It may seem unfair and people may not like it but
the limit of 50kph in urban areas is to ensure that
motorists drive slowly through our towns and
villages. We can’t ignore the law in the town while
enforcing it elsewhere. The law is the law,
full-stop,” she said.
Chairman of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr. Joe
Doherty said he would raise the issue of the
location of speed cameras at the next meeting with
“Speed cameras are a welcome addition to Inishowen
but I can understand that people have concerns over
where they are situated. In fact many locals have
contacted me over the past week on this issue. It is
not for me to say where the cameras are stationed
but I will certainly raise this issue with the
Superintendent at the next meeting,” he said.