Speed camera van destroyed in arson attack
Published 26/11/2010 | 10:45
A man escaped injury when one of the country's new speed camera vans was targeted in an arson attack.
The operator was sitting in the rear of the vehicle in Dundalk, Co Louth, when he smelt smoke.
Gardai said he got out of the van before it was engulfed in flames.
It is understood the front window had been smashed and the seat set on fire as the man operated equipment.
The incident happened just before 5am when the van was surveying traffic on the Dundalk to Carrickmacross road.
It was destroyed in the blaze.
Gardai are investigating.
The new network of speed cameras were rolled out less than two weeks ago, with 15 vans unveiled to survey accident blackspots across the country.
It was planned that by February up to 45 cameras will have captured 6,000 hours of monitoring.
Road safety chiefs warned about one third of road deaths are caused by speeding.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy condemned the arson attack on the van and its 21-year-old occupant.
"It was an outrageous and reckless act which could have had grave and tragic consequences," said the Commissioner.
"GoSafe van personnel are out on our roads day and night working with An Garda Siochana to reduce speed-related collisions and stop the needless loss of lives on our roads.
"It is important work directed at ensuring that fewer families and communities here have to endure the pain and suffering which follows collisions and deaths on our roads."
He appealed for anyone with information, or who saw a silver car in the Carrick Road area which is believed to have had two occupants, to contact Gardai.