The traffic camera saga continues: They’re up, they’re working, but they appear to be stuck in the ‘pilot’ phase – with 50,000 violations recorded since the start of the year but 2,000 fines handed out.
Severe delays in issuing fines appears to be linked to a difficulty in identifying drivers and cross-referencing their details across various government databases and linking them to the correct address.
The transport and justice ministers are due to meet this week to try and smooth out the process, while Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos insisted on Tuesday the programme will progress.
But the company handling the cameras, Conduent State & Local Solutions, has reportedly contacted the electromechanical services department to ask when the next – first official – phase will begin, with no answer having yet been received, according to Philelefetheros.
Karousos said that the first phase will be implemented once the necessary solutions are found, and played down the backlog – saying that the purpose of the pilot period was to identify such issues.
As it stands, the traffic camera system in the Republic remains with just the four stationary and four mobile units installed late last year despite the initial plans setting out for 110 units – of which 90 would be stationary and 20 mobile.
But that appears to be a long way off: of the 50,000 violations recorded since January, only 10,000 such offences have had been reviewed and linked to the correct drivers, with just the 2,000 fines issued. There are fears that if more cameras were to come online then the system would be further choked and bogged down.
The pilot phase began on October 25, 2021 and was only set to last for three months – with the first phase after that itself only set for six months with the addition of a further 16 mobile units and 20 stationary units.
The second phase was originally set to be completed within a year of the first phase and envisaged a further 66 stationary units.
But with 48,000 violations not having been sorted within three months, it appears that the traffic camera system is a long way off being able to manage the volume of infractions which would flood in from a further 36 camera units as set out in phase one, yet alone the 66 from phase two.