Municipalities must wait on installing speed cameras

Speed camera on Kristiine intersection.
Speed camera on Kristiine intersection. Source: ERR

Although local governments will have the right to install speed cameras on their territory from March 1, rural and city municipalities are not expected to do so immediately, as the government has not yet approved the necessary implementing provisions.

Last December, the Riigikogu passed an amendment to the law, which gives local governments the right to install automatic speed cameras on their territory and half of the fine revenue received for violations fixed with them in their budgets.

The law is expected to enter into force on March 1, but its implementation requires a government regulation setting out precise requirements for the installation and operation of traffic cameras and the participation of the rural municipality or city government, Indrek Link, adviser to the department of law enforcement and criminal policy at the Ministry of the Interior, told ERR.

The regulation has not yet reached the government and is currently in the process of being coordinated. After supplementing and correcting the bill, it will be submitted to the government for approval.

After that, municipalities-cities can start applying for speed cameras to be installed on their territory.

"This will be followed by installation and setup, after which the speed camera will be operational. Therefore, it can be expected that the first speed cameras to be installed by municipalities will be operational in the second half of 2022," Link said.

Tallinn is in no hurry to install cameras

The long waiting time for Tallinn does not cause any frustration, because the city does not plan to install speed cameras immediately. However, when this is done, mobile cameras will be preferred to stationary ones.

"The most problematic places can be solved with mobile cameras. The problem with stationary cameras is that they are very expensive to install and once they are in place, everyone will know their location in a week. And like on the road, a few meters before the camera is reached, people stop and reduce the speed. This situation is not wanted in Tallinn which is why we welcome mobile speed cameras and patrols on the streets of Tallinn," Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Andrei Novikov (Center) said.

Stationary cameras, or more precisely entire camera systems, are planned for installation in Tallinn at the five largest intersections, where they would be of real benefit, the deputy mayor added.

Novikov said that the intersections must be filled with cameras so that everything that happens there - speeding, driving over a red light, crossing into bus lanes - can be seen, otherwise, it makes no sense. Filling intersections with traffic cameras is no cheap fun. "Depending on the intersection, the price can reach €100,000 to €300,000," Novikov said.

Deputy mayor: No plans to install any speed cameras in Tallinn this year

Currently, there is only one intersection in Tallinn, Kristiine, where a working camera actually issues fines. The camera at the Russalka junction at the beginning of Reidi tee only captures the flow of traffic, because the Transport Authority was not interested in managing it. Now Tallinn can apply for its management.

"We need to take over the existing cameras, we have been in contact with the ministry for a long time, which is working out how we can get Kristiine cameras and how we can integrate the cameras we already have so that we can operate the cameras that are on state roads in Tallinn," Novikov said.

Novikov said that it is not worth believing that Tallinn, when the law enters into force, will install a huge number of cameras to fill the city's budget.

Cameras can't be installed at the city's discretion

The municipality must coordinate with the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and the Transport Board (Transpordiamet) regarding where to place the cameras. The reasons why a traffic camera is installed in a specific place must also be provided.

PPA told ERR that, at least for them, nothing will happen from March 1. because there are no implementing provisions for action.

Indrek Link explained that local governments really cannot install speed cameras at their own discretion.

"Although the amendment does not differentiate between a stationary and a portable camera, the installation of the camera must be preceded by an analysis of, among other things, why it is appropriate to use the camera at the proposed location and cannot or is not justified by traffic, road or other measures. to make it safer," Link said.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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