Camera system to catch drivers who break lights at Luas junction
A CAMERA system targeting motorists who break traffic lights has been introduced at one of the busiest junctions on the Luas line.
Motorists who break red traffic lights at a notorious accident black spot in the capital face three penalty points and a fine of up to €120 after an automated camera system was installed.
The cameras have been placed at the north city Blackhall Place-Benburb Street junction in response to the large number of collisions there.
In an effort to improve safety, a camera linked directly to the Garda PULSE system will capture any vehicle that breaks the red light. The new system went live at 8am yesterday.
The penalty points can be increased to five in the event of a court conviction.
It is the first such system in Ireland and may be rolled out to other junctions if it proves successful.
Since the Luas went into operation in 2004, there have been 338 collisions between trams and motor vehicles. An overwhelming 95pc have occurred on the Red Line, which serves Saggart and Tallaght to the city centre.
Videos of accidents and near misses after drivers broke red lights have been released to illustrate the dangers of breaking lights at Luas junctions.
Speaking at the Blackhall Place/Benburb Street junction, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the Railway Procurement Agency was continually looking at and introducing new initiatives to ensure all those who used the Luas remained safe.
"As a result of motorists not adhering to the rules of the road, the junction at Blackhall Place and the Luas Red Line was deemed one of the problem junctions, recording one of the highest numbers of road traffic collisions to date," he said.
"This has been endangering those who not only use the service but other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and passers-by. I'm confident that it's going to make a very big impact on the number of incidents at junctions like this.
"Based on its success and the effect that it has, we'll look at its roll-out elsewhere."
Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid of the Garda Traffic Division said: "Drivers who take chances by breaking red traffic signals put themselves and others at huge risk.
"This initiative will assist us in enforcing road traffic legislation while improving the safety of all those using the road."
The top four junctions where vehicle-tram collisions are likely to happen on the Red Line between Heuston and Connolly are Benburb Street with Queen Street; Benburb Street with Blackhall Place; Abbey Street with Jervis Street; and Mary's Abbey with Capel Street.