Police to offer first-time speeders timeout instead of fines

Police testing vehicle speeds. Photo is illustrative.
Police testing vehicle speeds. Photo is illustrative. Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Police are offering drivers the choice between a 45 or 60-minute break rather than a fine if they are caught speeding, as part of a series of innovative techniques aimed to decrease road accidents.

Drivers exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h must wait 45 minutes in a parking area next to the road and 60 minutes if they drove between 21 and 40 km/h over the allowed limit.

Officers will test the new technique on the Tallinn-Rapla road on Thursday morning. Only drivers who have no previous traffic offences will be offered a choice. 

"This is part of a traffic innovation project that aims to find new effective ways to improve road safety," said PPA innovation advisor, Elari Kasemets. 

"We are investigating how speeders perceive the fine and the impact of the lost time. We know from interviews with motorists that some people consider having a conversation with a police officer and the time they take to intervene more effectively than fines."

Officers will also trial the same technique at least once more over the next two weeks.

"On the basis of these police operations, we will collect information about the reasons speeders give to justify breaking the limit. We are analyzing the impact of different interventions to find more effective solutions, because the goal is for perpetrators to actually change their behavior, not to punish them for the sake of punishment," Kasemets said.

In 2018, 67 people were killed in road accidents and 1,824 injured. This is considerably more than in 2017, the Road Administration said. In January, June, and July of last year, 10 or more people were killed in traffic accidents.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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