There was a 66% increase in the number of people detected speeding on the roads last year.

The rise follows the introduction of new privately operated speed cameras which were fully rolled out early last year.

The figures were published by Gardai during their launch of a new nationwide crackdown on bad driving behaviour which began today.

In 2010 more than 158,000 people were detected speeding. But last year that rose to more than 262,000.

As part of the new Operation Focus, Gardaí also intend to tackle issues like drink driving, mobile phone use and seatbelt wearing.