A former transport minister says plans to double speeding fines are ‘window dressing’, and won’t change people’s behaviour.

Shane Ross was speaking as fines for speeding offences are to double from €80 to €160.

A further 61 speed cameras have also gone live across 23 counties.

Some 94 people have been killed on Irish roads so far this year – up 28 on the same period last year.

Shane Ross told The Hard Shoulder higher fines are good, but not good enough.

“I welcome it, but I don’t think it’s anything like adequate enough.

“The figures we got for the last weekend, and for the June weekend, are just absolutely horrific.

“And there is very definitely a trend, which is alarming to say the least, which is upwards and it’s been going on for the last year.

“I would have thought that the answer to this is multifaceted – and it’s certainly not going to be met by just doubling fines.

“The Department of Transport at the moment I think is doing lots of good things.

“But I think on the issue of safety on the roads, it’s not serious and the Minister’s not serious”.

Government ‘refusing to tackle the issue’

He says the risk of getting caught, rather than the cost of the fine, is what stops people from speeding.

“What worries me here, in particular, is that speed is identified as the biggest reason for fatalities on the Irish roads at the moment.

“Yet the Government is refusing to tackle the issue of penalty points and it’s certainly refusing, on top of that, of increasing the number of people who should be taken off the roads if they’re increasingly causing fatalities.

“This is window dressing, to be quite honest”.

He believes people ultimately won’t change how they drive.

“It’s not going to stop people, it may cost them a bit. What we need is fundamentally to stop people speeding.”

And he adds: “So many people are being killed on the roads, and there is a way for us to prevent that.

“And we’re not taking that – instead of that we’re saying: ‘Fine them a bit more, because it’ll look good before the August bank holiday as though we’re doing something'”.

Main image: Shane Ross arrives for a special Cabinet meeting in Dublin in March 2019. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie