New speed cameras in the AP-6 tunnel located in Guadarrama (Madrid) and in the A-7 tunnel in Torrox (Malaga) will come into full operation today following a trial period. In contrast to traditional speed controls these new cameras will measure the average speed of a vehicle passing through the tunnel from beginning to end by means of a speed camera at each end the tunnel.
Drivers who travel at more than 100 kilometres an hour will be given fines of up to 600 euros depending on how much they break the speed limit by and could lose up to 6 points on their driving license. A similar scheme has been in operation in a tunnel located in Leridano in Viella since July 2010.
The department of Traffic (DGT) has defended these measures saying that ‘excess or inadequate speed are the main causes of traffic accidents and speed is a factor in one out of four deaths on the road’.
The cameras work using an infrared light inside and are placed on both sides of the road and in the case of tunnels at both ends.
The cameras register the moment when a car enters the tunnel and when it leaves and also records the details of the registration number. With this information a computer calculates the average speed of each vehicle travelling through the tunnel.
Later on images of those vehicles which have broken the speed limit are sent to the Centre for the Management of Automatic Sanctions in León run by the DGT and fines are sent out to the drivers involved.
DGT has warned drivers that all the cameras are connected so there is no point in changing lanes or breaking just before a camera installed at the end of the tunnel. There are signs warning of the speed cameras similar to those for those warning of radars. According to the DGT this type of speed camera is being used in tunnels because breaking the speed limit in tunnels is very dangerous.
Other cameras are planned for the AP-6 in Barrios (León).
The minister for the Home Office, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, said that the government was planning to install around 100 speed cameras of this type because they are fairer.