Give us 500 speed cameras, police say

National police say cameras will markedly improve road safety

The national police organisation Rigspolitiet is asking for more than 500 speed cameras to be set up on Denmark’s most accident prone roads.

The request from Rigspolitiet was filed with the Justice Ministry in October of last year, and is currently being reviewed in anticipation of new traffic laws the government plans to propose in May, reports TV2 News.

The speed cameras would utilise sensors in the road that measure the car’s speed. If the speed is above the posted limit, a photo is taken. The photo is used to identify the car and driver and a fine is delivered by post.

“Our working group recommends the implementation of stationary speed cameras throughout Denmark, with the installation of a minimum of 500 stands on the stretches of road where there has been a rise in traffic accidents, and where cars drive at high speeds,” wrote Rigspolitiet in a memorandum obtained by the Ritzau news service.

Traffic researchers at the Technical University of Denmark estimate that placing 500 speed cameras on Danish highways would result in 30 fewer injury-causing accidents each year – a ten percent drop in the average number.

As part of its proposal, Rigspolitiet has also asked the Justice Ministry to change the law and allow them to give certain speeding tickets to car owners instead of the drivers. If the law is changed so that speeding tickets are given to the vehicle’s owner, an automatically generated photograph of the license plate with a measurement of the car’s speed, would be sufficient to collect a fine.

However, under current laws, police must personally visit vehicle owners who claim they were not the ones driving when the camera caught their car speeding. That stipulation makes a lot of work for the police.

The proposed law change would only apply to tickets that do not count against a person’s driving license – in other words, tickets for driving no more than 30 percent over the speed limit. Tickets for driving more than 30 percent over the speed limit carry both points against the driver’s license and a fine and would still be applied to the driver of the vehicle, rather than the owner.