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Get caught in Latvia, expect your ticket by mail

Speed camera in Tallinn.
Speed camera in Tallinn. Source: (Rene Suurkaev / ERR)

The Latvian authorities have recently set up a large number of speed cameras, and thanks to the now automatic exchange of data between the two countries, Estonian speeders can expect to get their ticket within days.

Martti Kangur, chief of the Road Administration’s registry office, told ERR on Monday that in the case of a car registered in Estonia crossing the speed limit, the Latvian police would send a query and receive the owner’s contacts.

“The queries are automatic and arranged through the information system and data exchange channels set up for this purpose,” Kangur said. He added that the legal basis for this was the paragraph in the Transport Act specifying the conditions for such an exchange of data.

The Latvian police use the connection, not only sending tickets to Estonian residents, but doing so in Estonian as well.

But while exchanging information and issuing tickets works across borders, enforcing measures against speeders is a different problem: there is currently no mechanism in place that would allow for coordinated prosecution in case of such a simple offense.

In Latvia’s example, the authorities could theoretically submit an order of punishment to an Estonian court, after which enforcing the order is possible in Estonia as well. But as the cost and effort of this procedure often surpass the value of the fine, this step is rarely ever taken.

The Road Administration has similar arrangements in place with other European Union member states.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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