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Now SatNavs will help Dublin drivers steer clear of crashes

Dublin commuters will soon be able to avoid crash traffic jams and icy roads with the help of their SatNav systems.

The city council is preparing to launch a new system that will help motorists dodge heavy traffic caused by accidents or roadworks, and even give weather updates.

In the first project of its kind in Ireland, motorists will be able to update their navigation systems so that they provide instant traffic information.

The Traffic Message Channel (TMC) technology is widely used across Europe but has so-far not been available here.

But traffic improvement schemes mean the service will be available by the end of March.

Unlike existing traffic bulletins, TMC messages appear on the user's satellite navigation device, showing not just the nature of the traffic problem, but also its exact location.

The service will also carry updates on closures of the Port Tunnel or let motorists know when the College Green bus gate is in operation.

The new service will be available to motorists in the Dublin City Council area and will be rolled out to cover the entire country soon afterwards.


"The traffic control centre at the city council will be the main source of traffic information for Dublin," the council says.

"With access to more than 200 cameras, the city council has the most accurate and up-to-the-minute picture of Dublin city traffic."

Motorists who already have SatNavs in their cars will be able to access the service but may have to get their system upgraded.

As the technology has not been previously available in Ireland, some manufactures have sold devices without a traffic receiver, thus reducing the initial cost of their device.

The council says that devices with Ireland and Britain-only maps are more likely to have been sold here than devices with full European mapping. The driver will also need to buy a TMC traffic receiver.

The typical cost is €30-50, depending on the manufacturer. The TMC service will be free at the point of use, with enabled devices coming with a lifetime subscription to the service.

The use of TMC abroad is also free of roaming charges.