There is probably no-one who has not heard a story from someone that he or she managed to drive from Zagreb to Split in less than three hours. The story is always the same, just the name of the driver is changed. While it is clear that in most cases this is just fiction with no basis in reality, there are indeed some who do manage to drive from Zagreb to Split in under three hours. Most of them use foreign passports as a shield, readily paying fines, which then motivates locals to try to do the same. However, it seems that such behaviour will soon become history on the Croatian motorways, reports Večernji List on December 18, 2018.
A unique speeding monitoring system is about to be introduced. “Speed monitoring is a developing project with a view to increasing the safety of motorway traffic and preventing the worst traffic accidents, all in line with the 2011-2020 National Traffic Safety Programme. Croatian Motorways support the activities and measures of the Interior Ministry to increase traffic safety. Speed monitoring will be done by measuring the average speed of a vehicle on certain sections of the motorway and with radar controls at specific locations, such as areas under reconstruction, where speeding is the most common cause of traffic accidents,” explained the Croatian Motorways public company. They noted that the locations under the speed monitoring would be marked with road signs to warn drivers because the intention is not to fine but to warn.
Currently, speeding on Croatian motorways is controlled just by police interceptors. Drivers exceeding the allowed speed by more than 50 km/h receive a fine between 3,000 and 7,000 kuna, a 24-month driving ban and three negative points on their licence. However, when it comes to foreign drivers, there are no penalty points, the driving ban applies just to Croatia, and the fee of 3,000 kuna – which in reality is only 1,500 kuna, provided it is paid immediately – is nothing substantial.
“When fees start being imposed through video surveillance, and the most severe offenders are punished by imprisonment, Croatian motorways will no longer serve as recreational venues but will be safe modern highways where local and foreign drivers will be able to drive safely at allowed speeds without fear of potentially taking part in serious accidents caused by arrogant drivers,” said Goran Husinec, a court expert for road traffic and vehicles.
The implementation of the motorway speed monitoring system is planned for 2019 and 2020. Similar speed control systems on motorways have already been introduced by Norway, the Netherlands, Austria and Italy. To avoid manipulation – such as taking a coffee break that would bring down the average speed calculated by comparing the time of entry and exit from the motorway – the speeds will be measured at multiple locations, mostly those that are already known as sections with speeding violations.
At each section, the speed monitoring system will be installed at two points. Cameras will record vehicles and calculate their speed. Based on the resulting average, the drivers will receive fines at their home addresses or will be fined by the police at the motorway exit.
“We were thinking about increasing the permitted speed on some flat sections of the motorways, but the state of our society and traffic culture is such that it still does not allow it. There would be drivers who would overestimate their driving capabilities, which would be fatal for them and other traffic participants,” concluded Husinec.
More info on Croatian motorways can be found in our Lifestyle section.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Sandra Mikulčić).