This year, Road Administration concentrates on setting up speed cameras at smaller highways of Harju County, to curb accidents and speeding caused by heavy traffic.
Small Harju County roads to get speed cameras
As told Postimees by Road Administration traffic expert Villu Vane, nine cameras go up right at the start of the year – the ones postponed in 2013 due to delays in procurements. Of these, two will line the Saku-Jälgimäe section of Tallinn-Saku-Laagri road; two will be set up at Vääna-Jõesuu, between 8th and 19th kilometres of Tallinn-Rannamõisa-Kloogarand road. A whopping five cameras will appear at the very start of Tallinn-Rapla-Türi highway, at kilometres 8th to 18th.
«We are trying to come with speed cameras to the smaller highways around Tallinn – here, it is relatively uncomfortable to drive, in the mornings and the evening rush-hours, and accidents also abound,» explained Mr Vane.
It is actually the worst on the Tallinn roundabout circle; even so, Road Administration refrains itself from setting up cameras there, as in near future the road will undergo reconstruction.
According to Mr Vane, the concentration of new measuring devices in smaller roads does not mean all is right now regarding the main road traffic. «A glance at the map tells us there’s plenty of empty space left,» thinks Mr Vane. Even so, picking new spots for fresh cameras would require new research data – so far missing.
Having purchased 13 new measuring boxes for 2013 budget money, this year’s purchases will be less. The precise amount and locations will become evident as this year’s budget is ratified.
The need for cameras is confirmed by the fact that, last year, numbers of speeders revealed by cameras went up again. In 2013, 60,696 fine notices were issued – equalling the amount of 2011. On the positive side, 2012 only brought 45,644 fines.
According to traffic procedures chief Toomas Kaarepere at Police and Border Guard Board, the amounts of fines will not directly point to worsening traffic situation, as new cameras have constantly been added.
The fact that 2012 had 15,000 fines less was due to the fact, said he, that in that year – for the first time – summer-time speed limits were not raised to 100 km/h in some sections. That cut violations at sections with varying speed limits. Also, 2012 had worse weather conditions and some cameras were out of service due to verification – or being transferred to other locations.
According to Mr Kaarepere, the cameras have paid off as in sections equipped with measuring boxes both average speeds and numbers of speeders have come down. A telling example: in 2010, the initial eight speed cameras at Tallinn-Tartu highway caught more speeders, on average, than all 31 cameras put together in 2013.
Mostly, the warning fines are €9 to €18; majority of speeders are registered at sections with 70 km/h limits i.e. in Anna and Mäeküla on Tallinn-Tartu-Võru-Luhamaa highway, and Voka and Vodova villages on Tallinn-Narva highway.