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Ban on speed camera warnings 'outdated'

The Local · 19 Sep 2012, 09:52

Published: 19 Sep 2012 09:52 GMT+02:00

Politicians from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and their Free Democrat coalition partners are considering changing the law to allow the use of mobile apps and navigation systems equipped with the detectors, the Saarbrücker Zeitung newspaper said on Wednesday.

Germany has around 3,800 permanent speed cameras, which photograph speeding drivers and mail the car's owner a pricey ticket.

Most of them are installed at accident blackspots, Christian Democrat transport expert Thomas Jarzombek told the paper.

"It makes sense if as many people as possible, including out-of-towners, are made aware of the dangerous areas,” he said.

"We want to differentiate between traffic safety and a money-making racket," Jarzombeck said.

Free Democrat MP Oliver Luksic called the ban on radar warnings "outdated," and said Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer should look into the matter.

But not everyone agrees with allowing drivers to find out about speed cameras in advance.

Police union GdP chairman Bernhard Witthaut told public broadcaster ZDF speed enforcement cameras would continue to be posted in accident-prone areas and "in my opinion, those should not be announced."

The Saarbrücker Zeitung reported that a draft of the CDU and FDP proposal said that navigation devices should be permitted to inform drivers about speed cameras within a zone of about 500 metres.

Story continues below…

"Thus, the particular area in which the driver exercises extreme caution is expanded," the draft said.

The Local/DAPD/sh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:25 September 19, 2012 by lucksi
Sooo, police are having a problem with the fact that motorists slow down in dangerous areas if they are warned that maybe there is a speed trap?

Seriously? They actually said that? Out loud?

Yes, this isn't about making money AT ALL.
12:34 September 19, 2012 by Simon_Kellett
> police are having a problem with the fact that motorists slow down in dangerous areas

The problem is that it implies they are breaking the law *before* entering the dangerous areas.

Or are you saying it is OK the break the speeding laws if you feel like it? Then someone else maybe feels it is OK to break the laws on property and steals your car. Is that OK?
12:46 September 19, 2012 by Englishted
@Simon_Kellett

Why does it imply they are breaking the law before being in the "dangerous area"

I have seen many cameras hidden just as you enter a say 30 zone when before the sign it was 60 .

The police are saying that the "dangerous areas" are a surprise for non locals otherwise where is the problem with per-warning apart from reduced police coffers.
12:57 September 19, 2012 by zeddriver
@Simon_Kellett

What a bogus argument. Should the police have a visible presence at a football match? Or should they only come to the stadium after there is trouble. No! Merely having the knowledge that there are police about. Preemptively causes cooler heads to prevail.

The driver notification of a speed camera has the same effect as if there were a police car sitting beside the road at a high accident spot.

The police said very clearly that THE reason they put speed cams at certain spots. Was to prevent accidents. If people are prompted to slow down because their SatNav beeps at them. Then I'd say job done.

And there are in fact many places where their are clearly speed traps. Try A5 south from Frankfurt near Darmstadt. Highway speed goes from 130 to 100 there is a speed cam AT the 100 sign. Within 100 metres the speed goes back to 130, And a 100 metres later it goes to unrestricted. I call that revenue enhancement.
14:04 September 19, 2012 by antistar
If they only slow down when the satnav beeps at them, they are breaking the law already. Then obviously job NOT done, because the job of the police is to stop people breaking the law. Calling cameras revenue collectors is the bogus argument: If people didn't break the law, there would be no additional revenues to collect.

Should we follow the same logic at airports, and let terrorists know when they are going to get a "random" search before they enter security? Should we let them know which flights will have armed air marshals aboard? I mean are these random searches meant to reduce risk only on certain flights, or to reduce risk overall? Is driving over the speed limit not also dangerous outside of accident black spots?
14:57 September 19, 2012 by raandy
Radar detectors are now almost impossible to discover and work very well against the 'blitz" sure has saved me a lot of bußgeld
19:38 September 19, 2012 by Englishted
@ antistar

"If they only slow down when the satnav beeps at them, they are breaking the law already. "

No as it is normal here to have a speed trap just after a lower speed sign,so therefore if the sat warns you 500m before you were not in the slower zone so were not breaking the law.

In the U.K. they are taking cameras out as statistics (I know) show that they tend to cause many accidents as people slam on the brakes when they see them automatically regardless of the consequences .
21:09 September 19, 2012 by antistar
The speed limit starts at the sign. It's there to warn you to slow down. It's not a sign that says "start slowing own after the sign". If you are going too fast after the sign, you are breaking the law.

If you are not breaking the law when the camera flashes you, then there is a problem with the camera's location and that should be fixed. That's not an argument to let everyone know when they might be caught for speeding.
00:34 September 20, 2012 by jg.
@antistar You are missing the point. The point of speed limits is road safety, not catching and punishing speeding drivers or making money. If drivers slow down at an accident blackspots because they are aware of speed trap locations then the result should be fewer accidents, injuries and fatalities and the speed traps will have achieved the desired goal.

Taking this further, it is quite cheap to have many brightly painted speed trap boxes but with only a few of them actually containing the expensive innards.
01:36 September 20, 2012 by antistar
I'm not missing the point, I just don't agree with it. If nobody broke the law, there would be no money to collect. The point of speed cameras is not to make accident blackspots safer, it is to make all roads safer. If you know where the cameras are then they will only make those places safer. Why would you want only certain roads to be safer and not all roads?

As I said before: It's the same at airports. If it was known which flights air marshals were on, then you would only improve safety on those flights. All other flights would not gain any benefit. The point of not letting lawbreakers know when they will be caught is to keep them from breaking the law at any time, not just in certain places.
02:24 September 20, 2012 by mike_1983
PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT GO DOWN THE PATH OF MY HOME STATE OF VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.

there are speed cameras on every corner with no warning signs.... and now the government sees them as a licence to print money with more and more every year and the fine increasing every year!

once the government had become reliant on this revenue there will be no turning back!
07:12 September 20, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ antistar #10

"The point of speed cameras is not to make accident blackspots safer, it is to make all roads safer." - right, that's why "most of them are installed at accident blackspots" (quote from the article). If their point is to catch as many speeding drivers (so that to increase the safety of all roads), why don't they put the majority of them where they have more chances to catch a large number of drivers? Hmm, maybe we should reconsider the idea of focusing on losing less human lives.
12:08 September 20, 2012 by BobbyBaxter
MOST speed cameras are to make revenue NOT save lives. Fact. End of.

Anyone who disagrees is mentally deficient. Fact.

Another example - if a child was killed in front of a school and the culprit was caught speeding by a well HIDDEN camera - which is ALWAYS the case, surely that life would have been saved had that very same person seen a big yellow speed camera beforehand or had a speed detector radar.

It should be about prevention not punishment/making money.
14:02 September 20, 2012 by antistar
Arguing that speed cameras are only for collecting revenue is a canard. Even if it is true, it doesn't mean the location of speed cameras should be known to lawbreakers. If you have a problem with where the money goes, you should be arguing that the revenues should be diverted to some deserving cause, like road accident victims.

The only argument here is whether they are effective, and whether revealing their location to lawbreakers will make them more effective. If you think that, then logically we should also list every plane that has an air marshal on so that other kinds of lawbreakers know where they will get caught.
17:52 September 20, 2012 by Englishted
@ antistar

I can cut the numbers down for you there are NO air marshals on European flights.
09:55 September 21, 2012 by Triston131
Speed cameras and by extension, red light cameras, aren't popular. Granted, individuals who get ticketed by them generally have earned it by ignoring the law. However, that hasn't kept them from resenting the presence of the machines, which has led to numerous occurrences of speed camera vandalism. Have you been in the market to sell or buy a new or used truck? If this relates to you, learn more on our websites at Gus Johnson cars! Want to know find out more about Gus Johnson Ford? Check out this.
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