12/30/2008Switzerland Forgives Italian Speed Camera Fines
Switzerland will ignore inexpensive speed camera violations from Italian motorists because of the cost of collection.
Motorists who live in Italy no longer need to worry about paying minor speed camera fines racked up while driving on roads in Switzerland. Romano Piazzini, the police commander for the Swiss Canton of Ticino, ordered the change earlier this month citing the "excessive work" required to track down and collect the fines from drivers who live in the neighboring country, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
A police organization called the Center for Italian-Swiss Cooperation works across borders to coordinate crime-fighting efforts of the Italian and Swiss police forces in the region. Officials feared more serious investigations were being put off because of the focus on collecting international fines. For example, the joint police and customs force located in the Swiss town of Chiasso processed over 105,336 tickets in 2007 which tied up one-half of the police station's work. Only 10,000 of those tickets were generated by Swiss vehicles. The Italian drivers responsible for the remainder were likely caught off guard by the extreme measures used by Swiss police, including a system manufactured by Complete Electronic Systems AG that hides a speed camera detection unit inside a highway guardrail. A separate, more visible photographic unit down the road is then used to identify the vehicle.
The Swiss police intend to pursue Italian drivers only for the more lucrative tickets issued for higher speeds that are worth over 121 francs (US $115).