I’ve seen speed camera signs on the Burapha Withi and Bang Phli-Suksawat expressways for several months now but I’ve always thought that they were bluffing as I neither saw cameras nor heard of anyone receiving a ticket. But that has all changed now as police have just started issuing fines. A friend of mine has just received a speeding ticket through the mail. Included was a sharp colour image of his car and details of his speed and when the picture was taken. The fine was 1,000 Baht. He was apparently doing 137 km/h.
According to the Bangkok Post, speed limits estabished by the Expressway Authority of Thailand are 80km/h for personal passenger cars and pickups, and 65 km/h for commercial trucks. However, the authority is currently citing only vehicles exceeding 120km/h and 80km/h respectively. I must admit that I often cruise at 100 km/h on these expressways. But even though I’m traveling at the upper limits, many cars overtake me going much faster. It’s annoying when they tailgate me or flash their headlights when I’m are already going past the speed limit. Are they in a rush to die?
There is a debate on as to whether these cameras are effective. Are they just good at collecting a lot of money or will they help prevent accidents? In the UK they set up speed cameras on stretches of road where there has been at least three fatal accidents. Statistics have shown that number of accidents on these roads have dropped. I think that speed cameras alone are not enough. There has to be road safety campaigns too. Drivers have to be educated about stopping distances and overtaking on the inside. Many times a car has pulled in front of me immediately cutting in half my safe stopping distance. However, if these speed cameras can make some drivers think twice then I’m all for it. What do you think?