Spot those hidden speed cameras
Alexia Cutajar, Sta Venera
The Malta Transport Authority claims to be installing speed cameras as safety measures on all of Malta's main arterial roads. We shall now have to officially acquire vehicles with no more than three gears because driving at 60 kph means that the vehicle has to be in third gear. This also means the engine runs at higher revs producing more emissions.
The ADT also said that the Highway Code, where the 80 kph speed limit is indicated, is just an "advisory guidance booklet for motorists", which it claims is not the law.
Is there no governing body above the ADT to regulate what is going on here? Or is it that the government, that should be directing the policies of its authorities, is condoning these penny-pinching measures? With roads that are far from the condition they should be in, shouldn't the ADT be focusing again on the pre-election cry of 400 roads a year instead of on installing money-making machines? Not to mention that the cameras are triggered by speeds of 62 kph instead of the previous 65 kph, which is a more realistic tolerance speed, given that most speedometers may not be accurately calibrated. Is this an indication of the authorities feeling the cash crunch?
Another money trap is centred on the roads in the vicinity of schools, which roads are closed for specific times during the morning and afternoon, supposedly for the safety of schoolchildren arriving at and departing from the school. In fact some motorists fail to make out the times printed on the signs and go through only to find a traffic warden somewhere in the middle of the road, gleefully waiting to issue a ticket. The closing of the road has got nothing to do with safety here as the vehicle coming through could potentially knock down a child before the warden sends the driver back, in addition to compelling drivers to make illegal U-turns. How about doing something sensible such as closing roads from both ends in the first place?
Up to the third week of September 2008, the Petitions Board had received 30,124 petitions protesting against traffic tickets issued by wardens, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said in reply to a parliamentary question by Ċensu Galea (PN). Perhaps that is the reason why we do not have education for pedestrians and cyclists because there is no direct cash income for the ADT from them.
In conclusion, I recommend all motor enthusiasts to play Spot the Camera! Speed cameras hidden so well that you will need a hint to find them.
Look between the trees!