THE new garda speed vans have finally been deployed across the streets of Dublin.
The Herald caught one of the vans on duty in Newtown Park Avenue, Blackrock in south county Dublin yesterday.
The speed vans, which are run by the private company GoSafe, were rolled out in November on a phased basis, with areas outside Dublin covered initially.
As of January, the vans are now in operation across the capital.
The gardai have hailed the new speed cameras as a success and believe they have contributed to a fall in road deaths.
The number of people killed on our roads from when the cameras were introduced on November 16 to December 13 fell from 27 in 2009 to eight in 2010.
Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey said there had also been a reduction in the number of serious injuries from 53 to 19 over the period.
"If you combine the two it is a reduction of 51 in the numbers killed or seriously injured since the introduction of speed cameras," he said.
The garda speed vans caught 2,000 motorists in their first month in operation but that number is expected to increase significantly as further vans are rolled out.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern signed a five-year €65m contract with the GoSafe consortium to provide the service last November.
It was agreed that 45 mobile cameras would provide more than 6,000 hours of speed checks per month across the country.
The new cameras, installed in clearly marked vans, will monitor some 600 areas.
Go Safe will be paid a fixed sum per month, regardless of the number of detections.
The company is not on a commission basis and the new van fleet will not be a revenue-raising force for the Exchequer, gardai have said.
Among the parts of the city to be targeted by the new cameras are sections of Parnell Street and the city quays from Wellington Quay to Aston Quay, according to a list of speed camera locations posted on the garda website.
The full list of speed check locations is available online at the garda website www.garda.ie.