Speed trap cameras wildly inaccurate, police union says

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There are serious doubts about the reliability of the police's new mobile speed trap cameras, according to police union ACP. Officers are concerned about high numbers of wrong speed measurements, especially with large vehicles and buses which are regularly flashed driving at improbably high speeds. The union is therefore calling that the use of these speed trap cameras be suspended until a solution is found, Dutch newspaper AD reports.

"I get plenty of reports from policemen about this", ACP chairman Gerrit van de Kamp said to the newspaper. "if professions indicate that there are doubts about the technique they have to work with, something must be done. Until it is clear exactly what is wrong. That is in the interests of the officer and the citizen. In fact, I also get signals about similar problems with fixed speed cameras."

It regularly happens that buses are flashed driving at 185 kilometers per hour or trucks at 240 kilometers per hour. Improbably high speeds for such large vehicles. According to one traffic officer and speed camera instructor for the police, this happens because radar beams can reflect off other vehicles that pass through the camera at the same time. "With the old equipment this happened sporadically, now it's frequent and sometimes even several times per check", he said to the newspaper.

"My colleagues and I are supposed to manually filter out the incorrect flash readings, but things will slip through. The result could be that drivers completely unjustly lose their license and therefore possibly their jobs.", the traffic officer said. "These errors can destroy lives. We do not want that on our conscience."

Parliamentary parties VVD and SP are also concerned about the matter and asked Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice for clarification.

Last week police spokesperson Helma Huizing stated that "the reliability of the system is not compromised", because each flash is checked by an officer. She added that the police and supplier Robot are working on a software update that will bring the error date down.

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