Different people have different opinions about those Gatso Speed Vans that are common sights along our highways and byways.
Some consider them to be a vital cog in the battle against speeding which causes so many accidents while other believe them to be a “shooting fish in a barrel” method of collecting taxes from already hard-pressed motorists.
The truth is probably somewhere in between!
Either way, Judge Mary Martin had some strong comments to make about the subject last week.
Before her was a taxi driver who was detected driving over the 50km speed limit on five separate occasions in the same spot in the space of 70 minutes.
The speeds detected between 1.42am and 2.56am on August 31st last year were 77km, 62km, 73km, 64km and 77km. The driver was dropping off fares and returning to collect more on a particularly busy night.
Declaring that the issuing of five speeding summonses in those circumstances was “totally disproportionate” and was bringing the entire speed detection system into disrepute, Judge Fahy pointed out that if she convicted on all five offences, the defendant would amass 25 penalty points rendering him unemployed.
In the end, she convicted on the first and last summons and fined the taxi man a total of €220. She struck out the other three but warned the defendant he was on a ‘sticky wicket’ and advised him to slow down. No doubt he emerged from court a relieved man.