By Chris King • 27 August 2022 • 3:00
Image of a Guardia Civil traffic officer.
Credit: Guardia Civil
As published in the Official State Gazette (BOE), Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) plans to invest just over €17.5 million in 270 new speed control points on the road systems in Spain. Of this total, 150 will be fixed or section radar devices.
Specifically, over a period of three years, the DGT aims to install 90 new section radars which will control the speed at two specific points on a road. Another 60 fixed radars will be placed in selected locations, and another 120 cabins for radars fixed on posts.
These radars will add to the 780 fixed speed control devices (of which 92 are section) already in operation across the country, as well as the 545 mobile, making a total of 1,325.
The tender announcement for the supply and installation of these new radars, published in the BOE indicates that the contract is divided into two lots.
One is for the roads dependent on the Traffic Management Centres in the area centre, the northwest-Cantabrian and the north; and another for the southwest, southeast, Levante, Pyrenees-Valle del Ebro and the Balearic Islands.
The contract’s administrative specifications, to which Servimedia had access, indicate that each of these lots requires the contracted company to provide 120 cabins for fixed speed cameras, 90 section speedometers, and 45 fixed speed cameras.
They will also need to supply various other materials, including electrical installations, vertical signage, communications equipment, and video surveillance equipment.
80 per cent of the new radars will be located on conventional roads, where the highest road accident rate occurs in Spain. The remaining 20 per cent will be on motorways and dual carriageways. These are approximate percentages that, according to the DGT: “will serve as a guideline for road safety policy when deciding on a specific location”.
Ultimately, the decision on where each speedometer is to be located will be made by the DGT. “The implementation of these systems will allow us to expand the scope of speed control and continue with the work to improve road safety”, said the traffic department.
The fixed kinemometers, or velolasers, will allow the capture and recording of the instantaneous speed of the vehicles that circulate in both directions of circulation. They operate on the ‘Doppler effect’, consisting of the constant sending of a microwave signal that is received deviated in frequency with respect to the one originally sent.
From that deviation, the speed is obtained. They will be installed inside cabins on poles and will work independently, without an operator. These cabins consist of a container with a single frame and a tray with several alternatives that allow the installation of the different models of approved kinemometers.
As for the section radars, they are devices for measuring the average speed of vehicles on the road. It is made up of cameras that take images continuously and a control unit that processes these photos in search of a licence plate.
Once a plate match is detected, it stores the time at which the image was taken. It compares with the information received from other devices and if it finds that same license plate among the detections of those devices, it calculates the time that has elapsed between the detections and, knowing the distance between the devices, it calculates the speed of the vehicle.
Kinemometers are installed on the base post of an autonomous power system. The system will be made up of at least two reading devices located at two different points on the same road and connected to each other.
In the event that the speed of the vehicle exceeds the speed configured on the radar to consider that the vehicle is committing an offence, the infraction management process will start.
The system must allow the storage of licence plate lists indicating the type of vehicle (lorry, bus, various types of cars, adaptable mixed, van, etc). These lists will be updated periodically with data from the Vehicle Registry of the DGT. This will allow each vehicle to be matched to its corresponding speed limit as established in the General Traffic Regulations, as reported by noticiasde.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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