Technical problems of average speed checks finally solved
Flanders has found a solution for the many average speed checks that are not operational today. The cameras will be part of the ANPR camera shield.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are booming, mostly in Flanders, compared to Brussels or the Walloon provinces. In 2015, Flemish police zones had a total of 502 ANPR cameras in use, 411 fixed ones, and 90 mobile devices. In Wallonia, only 12 cameras are in use, 13 in Brussels. Compared to 2012, the figures nearly doubled.
Flanders, however, has more than 60 average speed checks that are (still) not functioning. One of the reasons is the lack of cooperation between Flanders and the federal level. “There was a shortage, among others, of connectors to be able to take pictures,” explains Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), “but that problem is solved.”
In the meantime, the technical problems with the ANPR camera shields are off too. “Only an evaluation by the privacy commission still needs to be done,” according to Peeters.
“Enforcement of traffic regulation is a crucial factor in improving safety and the average speed checks are an essential element in it. Speeding is killing, and the average speed checks have proven to be useful to change the driver’s mentality.”
Meanwhile, cities like Antwerp, Mechelen, Courtrai, and Turnhout want access to the data of the ANPR cameras. They’re convinced the data could be better valorized. They, therefore, ordered a study to map the use of all ANPR cameras in the whole of Flanders.
Today, the data are only used by the police, and the cities mentioned above now want to know whether local authorities can use them too. “Those data could be an interesting source of information,” they say.
They even consider the lack of access for local authorities “missed chances”. According to the cities, the information, insights, and applications based on the data of ANPR cameras could contribute to more dynamic traffic management, improved safety, and a better environment.
The four cities expect that the study will map the landscape of the ANPR cameras. They also hope it will bring clarity about the technical requirements and the legal framework. Apart from that, they want to know in which scenarios they can use those data and what the costs would be.