Traffic cameras catch 765,000 speeding drivers

July 11, 2011

Traffic cameras installed by the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) caught 765,000 vehicles exceeding the speed limit in the past six months, the daily La Nación reported.

Twelve cameras were installed by the ministry along three major highways earlier this year. The cameras were located in five places where the speed limit is 60 kilometers per hour, including Florencio del Castillo in Cartago, east of San José, and General Cañas in Alajuela, northwest of San José.

The cameras photographed 1.7 million vehicles between January 1 and the first week of July, according to data submitted by MOPT last week. Forty-five percent of these drivers exceeded the speed limit, driving between 61 and 199 kph.

The camera project aimed to gather data on driver behavior, according to Francisco Jiménez, a MOPT official. The ministry did not fine offenders caught by the cameras.

Those driving between 61 and 119 kph would have been fined ₡308,000 ($616) under traffic laws while those driving between 120 and 149 kph would have been fined ₡410,800 ($822).

Those driving between 120 and 149 kph could have been sentenced from one to three years in prison for reckless driving.

Some data suggests the cameras decreased incidents of speeding, Jiménez told La Nación. The cameras detected 39,716 vehicles driving between 70 and 79 kph in May and 16,049 vehicles going the same speed in June.

There is no set start date for the enforced use of these cameras.

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