If you are a regular driver, you may have seen them already located on the sides of some of the main Finnish roads. They are the new speed radars equipped with cameras, which traffic authorities began to introduce last autumn on the main roads such as 4 and 6, to the despair of drivers who enjoy stepping on the accelerator.
This is a new Swedish speed radar model, with a novel design and more advanced technology than the current box-shaped speed controllers, which will not disappear by now.
The Finnish Police Board has ordered 150 pieces and the Finnish Goverment will pay for them 4.4 million euros in installments over 5 years. But surely these devices will generate very fast enough money for the authorities to amortise the investment.
For drivers, the main novelty that this sophisticated technology will bring is that it will no longer be worth reducing the speed when viewing the machine ahead or a few metres before reaching it. The new ones are capable of tracking and measuring the speed of vehicles 21 times per second from a distance of 150 meters, so the last minute braking will not do any good.
32 vehicles simultaneously
It will not help either to change the lane abruptly, depending on the side the machines are located, hoping to escape the reach of its eye. Its camera is able to monitor different lanes at the same time and to record the behaviour of up to 32 vehicles. In fact, it is capable to measure even the length of all them, for instance to control differently trucks and cars, which may have different speed ranges.
The video images recorded can be transmitted wirelessly to the police and stored, for example to review later the maneuvers carried out by vehicles in certain points such as crossings, or to monitor the misuse of the public transport lanes.
The traditional box-shaped detectors function differently. They are based on two loops embedded in the road and separated by a distance of 2.5 meters. Both loops allow to calculate the speed of the vehicle at the moment that passes by them. In case the car goes too fast, they send a signal to the box (located 15-20 meters further) that triggers a photo. So, braking at the right point allows to avoid the flash and the dreaded fine when dealing with them.
In the following video you can see how the new speed cameras work.
A demonstration video by Sensys Gatso Group
The shooting distance
The Finnish Transport Agency has investigated the speed reduce junctions and road sections with higher number of accidents all over the country in order to decide where the new camera radars will be located. This will determine also the camera's shooting distance, that may vary from one machine to another depending on the road characteristics and the environmental conditions.
Before being introduced in Finland, the new radar cameras were used for several years in Sweden by the Swedish police, with good results in terms of what the authorities may expect from them. In Finland they were first tested in the city centre of Oulu since June 2018.
The Finnish authorities insist that the main function of the new speed cameras is dissuasive. However, many Finnish drivers have complained that the purpose is purely tax collection. In any case, drivers should keep in mind that the best way to avoid fines and to ensure their own safety is to respect speed limits.