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18 May 2022

An expert's guide on average speed cameras - and how to avoid fines and penalty points

An expert's guide on average speed cameras - and how to avoid fines and penalty points

Motorists will face a fine of €80 and three penalty points if caught speeding on motorways by average speed cameras - but do drivers really understand how they work?

It’s been just over two weeks since the new average speed cameras were introduced across Ireland to reduce speeding on motorways.

Some motorists may have encountered them already, but for those who haven’t, there are still a lot of questions about what they are and what they mean for the day-to-day driver.

Irish insurance company Chill  has put together a useful guide for those looking to understand the new average speed cameras.

Well-rounded view

Average speed cameras calculate your average speed in a given distance to ensure you’re not breaking the speed limit. Rather than recording your speed at a specific moment, the cameras give a more well-rounded view of how fast drivers are going on certain roads.

By having two cameras set a certain distance away from each other, the cameras will track how long it takes you to get from one to the other, to calculate your average speed on the road. 

Average speed cameras don’t look much different from normal ones. They’re usually yellow, tall, and fairly easy to spot. The one dead giveaway for whether you’re in an average speed camera area or not is that there may be a road sign.

The new average speed cameras have been installed between junctions 26 and 27 on the M7. There have also been average speed cameras installed at Dublin Port Tunnel since 2017 if you weren’t already aware, so if you’re driving around these areas, keep an eye on your speed.

Average speed cameras work by calculating exactly how long it took you to get from point A to point B, so their readings are fairly accurate. If your average speed exceeds 120km/h, this is when the cameras will pick up the speed and issue a penalty to you.

There is leeway, however, if you slow down your speed significantly between the first and second camera. 

Penalties

If caught you will be fined €80 and receive three penalty points on your licence. You’ll have 56 days to pay the fine before the court gets involved. The first 28 days will require you to pay the fixed amount (€80), and if you fail to pay in this time frame, you’ll have a further 28 days to pay the fixed amount plus 50% (€120). 

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