More photo trailers to catch speeders

Mixed reaction to government’s decision to pick trailers over speed cameras

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August 28th, 2012 5:03 pm| by admin
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In an effort to curb speeding, the government announced recently that it will quadruple the number of photo trailers – also known as ATK cars – from the present total of 26 to around 100 cars. The government initially planned to introduce 500 speed cameras to control speeders, but have since dismissed that project.

"We have chosen the photo-trailers over the cameras because traffic police more opportunities for targeted action, which will be more effective," the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), told Berlingske.

The government will spend 335 million kroner on the project over the next two years. The project is a part of the government’s major road safety package. Anders Rosbo, the head of traffic safety council Rådet for Sikker Trafik, applauded the initiative.

"Whether it is a photo trailer or a speed camera doesn't really matter; what matters is getting increased traffic control," Rosbo said.

However, Karsten Nonbo, chairman of Færdselssikkerhedskommissionen, a national road safety commission, expressed discontentment over the government’s decision to opt for photo-trailers. 

“The number is much smaller, and the problem is that an ATK car does not work 24 hours. It works only when there is someone sitting in it, so it is more expensive in terms of manpower, and there are fewer speed controls,”  Nonbo, who is also Venstre's traffic spokesperson, said.

The effect of speed cameras has been questioned. A 2009 report on their use in Denmark showed that that showed that they are effective at reducing the speed of traffic. However, follow-up studies revealed that they are only effective for a few hundred metres, as drivers speed up when they’ve left the cameras in their rear-view mirrors.

The government's traffic package also plans on improving 14 'black spots' around Denmark by converting intersections and increasing traffic stops, where police will pull over and check all motorists.

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