The Government of Ireland will roll out a nationwide network of mobile speed cameras by mid-2010 after signing a deal with a private consortium for 45 of the cameras.

The €65m five-year contract was awarded to GoSafe, a consortium led by Irish firm Spectra also includes Australian firm Redflex and French company EGIS Projects.

The cameras will help perform speed checks at nearly 700 locations identified by the Garda (Irish police) as emergency black spots, providing over 6,000 hours of speed checks per month across the country.

Nearly 3% of the checks will be carried out on motorways and dual carriageways, 50% on national roads and the remainder on non-national roads.

The camera project will be run by gardaí operating in the new Garda Office for Safety Camera Management and is aimed at reducing the level of speeding on the roads to prevent accidents.

Speeding has cost at least 157 lives in Ireland over the past three years, leaving 310 seriously injured and 1,278 with minor injuries, according to officials.