A traffic camera trial in the small Italian town of Acquetico has caught more than 58,000 drivers speeding through the town in two weeks.
The single camera was placed near the town’s main pedestrian crossing at the behest of Acquetico mayor Alessandro Alessandri, due to local concerns about speeding. It recorded cars passing through the 50km/h (31mph) zone at speeds of up to 135km/h (84mph), with cars caught in the act of breaking the speed limit on average every few minutes.
The mayor received dozens of complaints about speeding traffic from residents, some of them afraid to cross the road, before agreeing to implement a pilot traffic camera scheme in September. In the space of the last two weeks the camera has recorded 58,568 speeding offences in Acquetico; reported to be between a third and half of the total number of cars travelling along the highway. Alessandri now plans to retain the traffic camera as a permanent fixture in hopes of reducing the speeding traffic and ensuring the physical wellbeing of his constituents.
Acquetico has a population of 120, mostly comprising older residents; but it has had an array of problems with traffic, mostly passing through. The town is situated between Italy’s Piedmont region and its northern coast and the state highway which passes through Acquetico is considered the best way to avoid traffic calming measures and tolls. Alessandri told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra that routes through the town were also popular with motorcyclists, saying its smooth, wide roads with “continuous bends” were considered ideal for motorcycle racing.
Alessandri said: “We hope that these speed gauges can be an effective deterrent to motorists and that they can benefit the citizens of Acquetico, because you do not want to make cash with the fines, but it is necessary to protect people’s safety.”