Promises about the use of cameras are empty, for now there are no penalties for drivers

Cameras in Skopje / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" / Dragan Mitreski

Traffic police patrols are insufficient to prevent daily rampages on the streets, and the long-announced project of punishing traffic cameras installed at traffic lights is still bogged down in bureaucratic procedures. If the cameras are used, accidents may be avoided and reduced, and drivers will drive at a slower speed knowing that reckless driving is being recorded and they can be fined for it. The last was the accident from last week on Serbia Boulevard, when a 20-year-old man from Skopje suffered serious injuries after crashing his vehicle into a pole.

From the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Free Press they say that the cameras are not in use, but the system is constantly being upgraded.

"The "Safe City" system is continuously being upgraded. The new cameras that are being installed in Skopje are part of the "Safe City" project, which aims to strengthen traffic safety, and after they are installed, they will be used to document traffic violations. The cameras are still down. "After the completion of all the necessary activities regarding this project, the public will be notified accordingly," said the Ministry of the Interior.

Traffic cameras for decoration, we will wait for home address fines

For now, the Ministry of the Interior does not reveal what exactly will be sanctioned, if only speeding and passing a closed signal, or not wearing a seat belt, bad alignment and disobeying traffic signs.

They do not even specify when they will start punishing negligent drivers. The traffic cameras that have been installed since 2012 as part of the "Safe City" project serve only as decoration.

The system never functioned the way it was announced – to receive fines at the home address for committed traffic violations.

Until now, the recordings from the traffic cameras served only as evidence, mostly for accidents with fatal consequences or serious injuries, as well as for traffic accidents with large material damages. The traffic cameras will remain idle until the bill completes the necessary parliamentary procedure.

As informed by the Ministry of Interior, last year 26.883 speeding drivers were sanctioned, and the number of those punished for not having a driver's license is 25.358, and 13.115 drivers were caught and sanctioned for driving under the influence of alcohol.

There are over 100.000 speed cameras in the world, two-thirds of which are in Europe, according to the statistical database Statista, which in turn refers to The Worldwide Speed ​​Camera Database.

Traffic cameras for decoration, we will wait for home address fines

Out of 107 countries, according to the database, Russia has by far the largest number of speed cameras – 18.393. In second place is Brazil with 16.997. Statista explains that this is understandable given the territories occupied by both countries.

Third on the list is Italy, which has close to 11.000 cameras in addition to being fifty times smaller than Russia. There are 7.366 cameras in the US, more than half of which are red light cameras that check for vehicles that have passed without stopping at a stop sign. The UK has a similar number, and most record speeding.

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