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Many Drivers Going Through Traffic Lights on Red in Carrigaline District

Writes Leo McMahon


‘Many days of the week I witness drivers illegally breaking the red lights’ said Cllr Jack White (FG) at the monthly meeting of the county council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).

On the agenda was a motion from him calling on the council’s roads directorate to see if cameras could be added to traffic lights in the MD to monitor driver behaviour, especially driving through the lights on red.

Cllr White said it was while he was out walking that he saw this in Crosshaven and Carrigaline several days a week and it was a very serious issue. Whilst technically, it was a policing matter, constant enforcement was impossible.

Driver behaviour seemed to be changing either due to lack of concentration or not caring and the breaking of red lights was, in his view, on the increase, hence his motion for cameras on traffic lights so that data could be recorded for use by the Gardai and prosecutions. Raising awareness at both national and local level was warranted, Cllr White argued, because such behaviour could cause injury or even death.

New traffic lights junction at Kilmoney Road Lower and Pottery Road, Carrigaline

Seconding, Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) acknowledged it was ‘a big ask’ because there were so many crossings, but residents were contacting councillors about near misses and people with children having terrifying experiences at traffic lights. He suggested that in conjunction with An Garda Siochana, footage be collected from some traffic light locations on a pilot basis.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) in support, said it was a really good motion that affected all MDs. She too suggested cameras at selected locations to heighten driver awareness.

An Cathaoirleach Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) concurred, pointing out that such cameras were in place in several countries in Europe.

Senior executive officer, Maurice Murphy, whilst acknowledging the merit of the proposal, warned that it could present EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) challenges and in particular whose function it would be to deal with it, the local authority or Gardai.

Thanking fellow councillors and the response from senior executive engineer Madeleine Healy that his motion had been referred to the council’s director of roads for consideration, Cllr White said compliance with GDPR was a Europe-wide issue that was already in place in some countries.

Cllr Ben Dalton-O’Sullivan (Ind) said the question was whether a county council should be a data controller for what he believed to be a policing issue.

The engineer said the issue had come up before and there was need for discussion between the Departments of Justice and Local Government regarding this and community closed circuit television (CCTV) monitoring which had yet to progress.  The council didn’t currently have the resources nor the authority to do what the motion suggested and it was probably the case that where it operated on mainland Europe, local government covered local policing.

Cllr White said he would be happy to await a response from the director of roads after which the MD could pursue what could be done.

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