Friday, 8 February 2019

Are "radars" just a cash cow?

A complaint aimed at the roadside cameras to control speed is that they are merely there to collect another "tax" from motorists. Consequently more than half have been destroyed or defaced during the recent gilets jaunes campaigns. But there is almost a history of the cameras being used just as targets for discontented drivers. Some have been regularly vandalised over the years (we recall the camera at Maleville being burned out years ago). And the demonstrations of the farmers in the last couple of years have often targetted the cameras.
Yet it seems that France is one of the European countries least served by this effort to reduce road deaths from speeding vehicles. Using a measure of cameras per square kilometre, Belgium tops the league, with 18 times the number per square kilometre than in France. But Italy has actually the highest number, with over 10000 speed cameras, compared to just over 2000 in France. In fact France is 11th in density (though Malta with just 21 cameras has a much higher density). GB and the Netherlands also have much higher density than France and the least likely place to be flashed seems to be Spain.
So if cash is the purpose of this equipment then perhaps the government is missing a trick.
Statistics gathered by an organisation called Statista.