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Gardai seek twice the penalty points for bank holidays

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Gardai and GoSafe vans

Gardai and GoSafe vans

Gardai and GoSafe vans

Penalty points and fines could double on bank holidays under new road safety plans being considered by gardai.

The "double-trouble" system, which is already in operation in Australia, focuses on danger times when many more people are moving around on the roads.

Gardai have consistently issued road safety messages for bank holidays because of increases in accidents at those times.

They are now considering a change that would double the penalties during at-risk times in an effort to focus the minds of drivers.

Effective

Assistant Garda Commissioner David Sheahan mentioned the idea at a news conference where it was announced that more than 900 new speed camera detection zones will be rolled out across the country from next Monday.

"It's a double demerit system I've seen in operation in Australia that has been very effective," he said.

"There would need to be changes in legislation here before it could be introduced."

A re-evaluation of road collision statistics means there will be 1,322 safety camera zones nationwide from next Monday.

Many of the existing zones will be removed from the list following a review that showed driving habits had improved and those zones were now safer.

It was found during the review that 75pc of fatal accidents were happening in areas that were not in safety camera zones.

As a result, the emphasis was shifted to include more areas deemed dangerous.

The speed zones will be patrolled by GoSafe speed detection vans and gardai with new hand-held speed guns.

More than 1.5 million speeding tickets have been issued since the introduction of safety cameras in November 2010.

Areas outside the 1,322 safety camera zones will still be patrolled by gardai.

The new safety camera zones will be posted on the garda website and gardai will be alerting sat-nav companies to their locations.

As part of the new plan, the familiar road signs with a camera graphic, which indicated a possible speed camera presence, will be scrapped and replaced with standard speed limit signs.