News | Sunday, 25 January 2009

More speed cameras for cash-hungry councils

Eight new speed cameras are pending instalment across four locations, but the Transport Authority (ADT) is not willing to confirm the locations.
The cameras are set to net hundreds of thousands of euros for the joint local council committees, namely Birkirkira, Zejtun and the Central committee, which will share the ‘spoils’ from speeding drivers.
The new cameras will be located on the Birkirkara regional road, one next to Klikk Computers and the other passing the roundabout leading to Birkirkara again; at the mouths of the Santa Venera tunnels; on Imdina Road in Qormi, one next to Shopwise and the other next to Kia Motors; and on Tal-Barrani Road in Zejtun, two installed for either direction to Zejtun and Paola.
The ADT told MaltaToday that following various requests from different local councils for the installation of a number of speed cameras, the Transport Authority, analysed their requests and communicated its decision to the councils.
But it said it would not confirm any of the locations of the cameras. “The Authority does not feel it is in the interest of drivers’ and pedestrian safety that it pre-announces the locations of speed cameras.”
In fact, the ADT confirmed that several roads are equipped with just the signage for speed cameras, but they do not actually have speed cameras installed.
“The Authority reserves the right to install speed camera-related signs along roads which are not equipped with speed cameras, as the signs alone are sometimes effective in the effort to curb speed and therefore improving safety on our roads for all road users.
“The Authority therefore does not wish to confirm the locations of the speed cameras, when they will be installed and when they will come into operation.”
The ADT said speed cameras deterred excessive speed, a contributory factor to road accidents. “Speed cameras, related signage and consequently the application of fines for excessive speeding, deter motorists from driving at an excessive speed.”
Speed cameras are a big source of finance for local councils. In 2005, the Sliema Joint Committee of councils bagged Lm625,845 in speeding fines from the Regional Road camera and others, which took over 26,000 snapshots of speeding vehicles.

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