San Joan tunnel’s new speed cameras

THE Spanish Traffic Authority, DGT, has announced four new speed trap areas for Spanish motorways to be put into operation later this year. One of these will be in Alicante Province, as revealed by La Verdad. The location of Alicante’s speed cameras is said to be in the San Joan tunnel.

There is no confirmed formal date for the start of the operation, nor for the location of the other three sites but it is understood they will be on the AP-66 in Barrios de Luna, in León, the M-40 in Madrid and on the AP-9 in Sartego, in La Coruña.
The speed traps are known as ‘radar de tramo’, and use infra red beams bouncing back off oncoming cars to calculate their speed.

Those of us from the UK will be used to such speed camera devices, but the concept is gradually being rolled out in Spain.

As in the UK offenders will be sent notification of their infraction, and fine, in the post. Number plate recognition technology is in place, linked to a database of addresses for each Spanish registration car. There is no escape.

Compare this to England, where Which Consumer Group revealed last week that more than half the fixed speed cameras do not work at any one time.

In fact the figure was 47 per cent.The survey also found that the chances of being snapped varied tremendously depending on where in the UK you live.

For example in Sussex all 60 cameras were operational, whereas in Lancashire only 10 per cent of the county’s 287 cameras were functional.

The actual working of speed cameras has been shown to be of little effect. Experts say it is the actual psychological impression that counts. As evidenced by driving patterns in Alicante, where the notices of speed cameras have been in evidence – perhaps without functioning cameras – for some years, but the result has always been the marked decrease in speed of cars entering the San Joan tunnel.

The cause of the slowing down of traffic had nothing to do with driver awareness of safety in the tunnel’s enclosed space, but rather their awareness and reticence of potential speed fines if snapped speeding. It is the prospect of being caught offending that is the deterrent.

“A camera box that has no camera is totally effective if it achieves casualty reduction with no prosecution” said Peter Rodger, Chief Examiner of the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK.



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