9/24/2019Brazil Reports Safety Improved Without Speed Cameras
Photo radar moratorium in Brazil did not lead to an increase in accidents, according to government statistics.
The number of accidents fell after speed cameras were removed from Brazil's federal highway last month. President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday cited the statistics as he defended his decision to pull the plug on photo radar against the claims of critics that he had put public safety in jeopardy.
"A month after we decided to suspend the use of mobile radars on federal highways until approval of inspection standards by the Ministry of Infrastructure, data from the PRF [federal police] indicate that in August, the number of fines fell 64 percent from the half-year average and the number of deaths fell as well," Bolsonaro explained on Twitter.
Comparing road fatalities in August 2018, with speed cameras active, to August 2019 with the devices turned off, the number of road fatalities dropped from 454 to 283. The number of accidents and injuries likewise fell to the lowest level recorded in the past twenty months.
In May, Bolsonaro described the use of automated ticketing machines as a primarily revenue driven exercise. Bolsonaro asked officials to find a better way of achieving road safety goals. The Ministry of Justice and Public Safety issued a formal order last month to implement the change in public policy "to avoid distorting the educational purpose and to avoid merely collecting speeding fines," according to the document.
The order halting use of speed cameras applies to all fixed, mobile and car-based photo radar units operated by police on federal roads. Bolsonaro ordered the ministry to use the time to reevaluate all of the regulations that apply to automated ticketing machines.
"I determine that all PRF [federal police] managers and staff should take the necessary steps to immediately comply with the presidentail decision, and the use of static, mobile and portable speed measuring equipment shall by suspended until the Ministry of Infrastructure has concluded the re-evaluation of the electronic speed measurement regulations on public roads," the August 14 order states.
The photo radar suspension does not apply to local governments, which continue to use speed cameras within their jurisdiction. It also does not apply to privately run cameras that are operating under a contract. Bolsonaro said those privately operated devices would be shut down when the contract expires.
A copy of the order (in Portuguese) is available in a 100k PDF file at the source link below.