Speed cameras are now saving the lives of 23 people in Ireland every year.
Over the last three years 71 lives have been saved as a result of the roadside cameras operated by the Go Safe consortium, a Department of Transport economist has revealed.
And the cameras are delivering an overall net benefit to the Irish economy of €70m a year, Derek Rafferty said.
Mr Rafferty outlined the findings of a detailed study of speed camera sites, both before and after the cameras were installed.
Statistics were gathered from a total of 537 sites across the country.
“The overall results were very positive, even using pessimistic assumptions about costs and benefits,” Mr Rafferty told the 11th Irish Society of New Economists conference at NUI Galway. Between 2005 to 2013 there had been a 52pc reduction in road deaths on Irish roads, putting us in second place on the European-wide table for road safety, behind Sweden.
The roadside cameras operated by Go Safe were introduced in late 2010 and Mr Rafferty’s study of the 2011-2013 period confirmed that, along with saving 71 lives, a significant number of serious and minor injuries were also prevented.
While the income derived from fines arising from speed camera prosecutions covered less than half of the €16m annual operating cost of the Go Safe system, there were considerable savings in human and economic terms.
Mr Rafferty said that for every live saved by the cameras the state saved €2.7m while €310,000 was saved for every serious injury averted.