According to lawyers, such cameras violate people’s constitutional rights by invading their privacy
Photo: Gevorg Ghazaryan, JAMnews
Mobile speed cameras have been introduced in Armenia with the aim to monitor road sections with a high rate of speeding violations.
The devices are expected to detect and record vehicles which violate speed limits. The cameras will be moved periodically with drivers only learning about their location when they have to pay for their fines.
Furthermore, no photos or videos of the cameras are publicly available so that drivers remain unaware of what they have to deal with.
Many believe that the cameras might not actually even exist and that the reports are meant to prevent drivers from speeding.
“The Traffic Police have officially reported on the introduction of a mobile speed detection camera. Hence it appears that there is only a single device. Drivers have gotten used to the warning signs that are installed a certain distance before the speed cameras, but in this case there won’t be any signs,” said David Pedanyan, co-founder of the Driver’s Friend NGO.
In his words, there are numerous ‘speedars’ installed across Armenia, and that they are a good means of ‘earning money’. According to Pedanyan, the fact that police have decided to introduce these cameras proves that the aforesaid speedars actually are inefficient.
Lawyers noted that cameras which are hidden from view violate drivers’ constitutional rights. The devices will be mounted inside ‘ordinary’ vehicles rather than in police cars, which in their words is also a violation.
“The purpose of holding a person liable is to discipline him rather than to impose a fine. In case of a hidden camera, fines, which provide a chance to earn additional funds, become the ultimate goal. We should find out on what legal grounds they are going to install them and invade people’s privacy,” said Gevorg Davtyan, a lawyer.
When justifying its decision to introduce the cameras, the police referred to the car accident rates for January 2018. According to Armen Khachatryan, Deputy Chief of the Traffic Police, the need for new measures was conditioned by the number of fatal road accidents reported in January this year.
Armenian Facebook users have disseminated a car photo, warning that there is a speed cam mounted inside it. Some social media users have been sharing a funny video clip entitled ‘Mobile speed cam’.