Even though the police are planning further automation of traffic monitoring, Estonia will not procure additional mobile speed traps.
The Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) eight mobile speed traps have been in use for almost three years. Sirle Loigo, the PPA's traffic monitoring service owner, said their aim goes beyond collecting fine money.
"We have also monitored the cameras' effect," Loigo explained. "Mobile speed traps work to calm traffic."
Mobile speed cameras register more speed limit violations than their stationary counterparts. Such infractions number 137,000 for this year already.
"We can say we're still taking baby steps with automated monitoring at the PPA. We have not measured their effect on a deeper level and have little data. The test period has been short," Loigo suggested.
The PPA has no plans for procuring additional mobile speed traps at this time.
"Automated traffic monitoring is the future, while it remains to be seen whether speed traps that can be moved easily are that solution. I am less sure about that. Perhaps there will be more effective, simpler and faster solutions."
Traffic lawyer Indrek Sirk agreed that monitoring is headed for greater automation but added that fines are not effective in every violator's case.
"Some never intend to pay the fine, while others have so much money it doesn't phase them at all. With some, it is enough to warn them that they might lose their license. Others need to be physically removed from the road and, in some cases, society," Sirk said.
"In other words, a single method only works on certain kinds of motorists and in certain situations. There is no universal approach. Monitoring needs to be a combination of different measures and punishments," he offered.
Sirk finds that people do not need to be notified of the presence of speed traps. "Covert traffic monitoring is entirely legal and in no way violates anyone's fundamental rights. It's effects can be avoided very simply by not committing infractions. That way, a person doesn't have to worry about whether there is police presence on the side of the road."
Editor: Marcus Turovski