Friday, June 6, 2014

Local Blitz Economy

Here in the Wiesbaden area....blitz cameras (the speed cameras) are a day-to-day threat.  There are seventeen stationary cameras, and three mobile units.

The local paper, the Kurier....put up an interesting story over the current trend.  What folks are generally that the percentage of speeders caught via the decreasing.  In certain words....the amount of capital that the city less than expected.

Back in 2009, the city took in around 1.2 million Euro off their camera system with speeders.  It's generally gone down ever since.

Right now....for 2014 and the first five months....we are around 22,000 folks caught speeding.  For all of last year?  Around 62,000 cases for 2013.  You can figure if the trend holds....we won't go past the 55,000 point.

What's this all lead onto?  Well....the chief of Wiesbaden's police has written up a directive for the guys who maintain the blitz start planning on optimal use of the cameras.  Back at the end of March.....he sent the statement out and kinda hinted that the boys need to think of better ways to use the cameras and ensure better numbers.

The truth here?  Generally, a guy might be willing to accept one or two speeding tickets in his life....but after least in urban areas....he lightens his foot and finds various ways to stay within the speed limit.  Most folks have a mental listing of the seventeen stationary cameras and will rattle them off quickly if asked where they are.

Why have stationary cameras?  Well.....German experts got smart and figured out around thirty years ago how to challenge the mobile cameras in court.  The two-man team that usually sets up the mobile cameras.....have a checklist.....and will typically spend two hours setting up the angle and ensuring correct measurements.  If they fail on any part of the set-up of the mobile camera....then the case can be challenged in court.  All of this led German planners to get into the idea of permanent cameras.....around-the-clock type tickets....twenty-four hours a day.  Course, this means a vast amount of money, and you need to get a fair return on your investment.

Years ago.....I made a trip up into the Netherlands, and came to a town of 250,000 people.  My little GPS went nuts and displayed what was probably around 200 installed blitz cameras in the town.  I doubt if you could have driven more than two minutes in any direction, and you would have come across a blitz camera.  I've often wondered about pay-back, and if the town ever made their money back off the installation.

All of this leads me to one just doesn't make sense to speed in any urban area of German.  If you got a GPS unit and it's got the potential alarm to warn of you on excessive speed.....I'd use it.

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