Latvia could get 'average speed' cameras at end of year

Take note – story published 1 year ago

For a while, discussions have been ongoing about the setting up of an average speed control system in Latvia to improve road safety. The project was intended to be implemented in 2021, then was postponed to summer of 2022. It looks like the cameras could be out on the roads at the end of the year, Latvian Television reported July 17.

At the beginning of 2021, the Road Safety Board decided to allocate €700 000 to the installment of average-speed control systems on the national road network. The project will be implemented by “Latvian State Roads”.

Since the beginning of 2022, 59 people had died on the roads until July 16. The Latvian Road Traffic Safety Plan for this year set a target of not exceeding 65 deaths per million inhabitants, but it is already clear that it is unlikely to succeed. The head of Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) statistics processing, Juris Kreicbergs, said that this year was very hopeful, with road deaths at a record low by June 8. But over the summer, the situation changed sharply.

“Then there was nearly two weeks with an average a death daily, which is the level of casualties in 2008, 2007. Then there was a little pause, but the accidents began again in July,” Kreicbergs said.

“The most fatalities are outside populated areas, on asphalt, dry cover, during the day, with good visibility. When there are all the possibilities to drive faster, to enjoy nature or surroundings,” says Kreicbergs.

According to Kreicbergs and other experts, average speed camera deployment would be a significant contribution to improving road safety. One such radar was located on Tīnūži highway as a pilot project, and the results were promising, but the project stalled then.

“Latvian State Roads” (LVC) has identified 16 priority stages on the national road network on which the average speed control system will be installed.

"There are ongoing negotiations with tenderers and exchange of documents. We expect procurement to conclude in the near future, and we can plan that the first stages will be equipped at the end of this year: November and December. By the end of April next year, all 16 first priority stages could be equipped, "  said Anna Kononova, representative of “Latvian State Roads”.

'Average speed' cameras differ from single speed cameras by having cameras at two positions on a stretch of road. Cars are monitored at both points with the average speed between those points calculated as a result, so that vehicles cannot simply slow down as they pass a camera and then accelerate back over the speed limit. 

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