Latvian police on road catching 'heavy feet' on gas pedals

The Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD)'s campaign 'A heavy foot causes death! Do not floor it!' has been ongoing for a week. Has the message reached drivers and the number of offenses decreased? In order to find out, Latvian Television went on the raid with the road police on August 11.

The first infringer is caught on the Liepāja highway.

“You have a €40 fine for the violation in question. Because you haven't had any infringements during the year, you have been granted a conditional exemption from the penalty. It's a half-sum, but on the condition that you have to pay within 15 days,” the officer explained to the driver.

A moment later, another driver on the Jūrmala Highway bolts at nearly 130 kilometers per hour (km/h) where the maximum permitted is only 90 km/h.

LTV: “Do you often speed or are you hurrying somewhere??”

The driver, Arturs: “No, I hurry in the mornings.”

LTV: “To work?”

Arturs: “Yes. We took the car to repairs and now to work."

LTV: “With the baby?”

Arturs: “Well, we have to hurry”.

Arturs hasn't heard of the 'Heavy foot' campaign. In his opinion, the police should pay more attention not only to speeding but also to too slow-moving people, who are preventing traffic flow and provoking others to overtake.

"I believe that 'heavy feet' come up when a much slower car drives on third lane and doesn't fit into the flow. Then [people] start to overtake and change lanes and whatnot. If everyone was going nicely in lanes and not taking up third lanes, there would be a lot less 'heavy feet'," the driver said.

Overall, in the first seven months of this year, more than 37 thousand speeding cases have been recorded by the State Police, excluding those of speed cameras. The police have observed that, at least in terms of speeding, drivers have become more obedient.

“The speed offenses, at least in my experience, used to be much more common than they were now. Penalties have been increased and overall driver culture is improving gradually. But the offenses are the same, accidents are happening, and everyone should be careful,” said Artūrs Apinis, inspector of the State Police Traffic Safety Administration.

On the other hand, offenses such as the use of smart devices behind the wheel and aggressive driving are increasing.

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