Supporting Local News

Judge lashes out at location of speed vans – as he dismisses summonses

A District Court judge in County Galway has taken issue with the locations in which GoSafe vans are parked to catch speeding drivers.

Judge James Faughnan went on to strike out three speeding summonses at Tuam District Court against motorists who were detected driving through Williamstown.

The judge, who passes through Williamstown on his way to sittings of Tuam Court, believes that the speeding vans parked in the village are unfairly positioned.

He said that they were parked in the location of the local church and views of the vans were being obstructed by parked vehicles on either side.

“I have a huge issue about visibility. They are hidden behind other vehicles which was not what they were supposed to be about,” he remarked.

The Judge said that during his travels, he has come across them parked behind vegetation and added that, even at his own GAA club in Leitrim, they were parked at the entrance where they could not be seen.

“It is shocking beyond belief. The presence of Go Safe vans at any location was to serve a purpose – not alone to detect speeding motorists but also to act as a warning for drivers to slow down, so they have to be visible at all times,” he said.

“But if they cannot be seen, then they don’t provide motorists with an opportunity to reduce their speed,” Judge Faughnan added, as he struck out the three summonses against the motorists detected for being over the limit.

And in Ballinasloe District Court two days later, Judge Faughnan expressed his displeasure with the location in which the speed vans are parked at Brackernagh just outside the town.

He noted that they were parked halfway on a footpath and hidden from view which should not be the case he said.

Meanwhile, Cllr Declan Geraghty (Ind) raised the matter at a local authority meeting when he said that motorists passing through Williamstown were ‘sitting ducks’ when it came to the presence of the speed vans.

“The way they are parked, they are obstructing elderly people coming out of Mass during weekdays in particular. It is a disgrace what they are doing.

“It just seems to be a money-making exercise when they are there to warn motorists to reduce their speed while going through the village. They cannot be seen and this situation has to be addressed by Galway County Council and the Gardai,” said Cllr Geraghty.

But he added that what was even more annoying was the fact that some motorists were being issued with fines while travelling at 5km/h or 6km/h above the speed limit when some discretion should apply.

(Photo: The Go Safe speed van located in front of parked car outside Williamstown Church).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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