New high-tech speed traps ‘useless’

Austria lost out on around six million Euros of traffic fines as new high-tech speed traps turned out to be unusable.Motorway administration authority Asfinag set up three high-end radar traps worth 450,000 Euros on the A21 motorway and the S1 main road near Vienna last autumn. The new devices catch drivers from the front in contrast to the hundreds of other well-functioning speed traps in the country taking pictures from behind.Officials hoped the new devices would increase the chances of charging speeders from foreign countries since their faces would be captured on the images taken by the new device and not just the licence plates.But now a spokesman for People’s Party (ÖVP) Interior Minister Maria Fekter revealed the ministry’s traffic fines department was still unable to act over shots from the new device.”The photographs are wobbly and blurred. They are useless when it comes to charging the traffic offenders,” the ministry official said today (Weds).Asfinag official Ralf Fischer admitted: “We put up the new machines in autumn 2009, but they still don’t work properly.”Fischer added producer Siemens was working on improving the high-tech devices.Reports claim indebted Asfinag – which is controlled by the traffic ministry of Social Democrat (SPÖ) Doris Bures – lost out on six million Euros in connection with the three new speed traps as around 170,000 foreigners got away ignoring the speed limits since last autumn.