Stories > The Italian speed camera that made 10 million euro per month
The Italian speed camera that made 10 million euro per month

The Italian speed camera that made 10 million euro per month

Published 2020-02-09 by Peter Ternström

The little village of Acquetico is located in the north of Italy. In Liguria, not far from the French border. The village is in the hills overlooking the sea. The roads are amazing, some of the best in the region. This attracts a lot of fast cars and motorcycles - not just from Italy, but also from France and Monaco.

The whole area is a Mecca for both sports cars and motorcycles. During the summer and especially on the weekends it is the same atmosphere as on the Nürburgring.

A very popular road runs right through the village. As many of the 120 residents often complained about reckless driving, the mayor was forced to act. In the spring of 2018 he therefore set up a speeding camera at the village's only pedestrian crossing.

Two weeks later came the first report. He couldn't believe his eyes. The speed camera had caught 58 568 speeding violations.

One in three cars drove faster than the speed limit, which is 50 km/h. The fastest car did 135 km/h through the village. Many drivers had several fines. Some had two every day. One in the morning and one in the evening. One thing was certain - there was no respect for the law. It was full throttle through the village with complete disregard for the zebra crossing.

Rumours say that the average fine was 85 euros. The total amount the camera had collected was almost EUR 5 million - in just fourteen days. An incredible amount of money for a village with only 120 inhabitants.

Since the spring of 2018, most speeding drivers have been prosecuted and the general behaviour has changed. The camera has had an effect and the speed has been dramatically lowered through the village.

In an interview, the mayor jokingly declares that he thinks it's a shame they are driving much slower now. After some fantastic months with many millions of euros in the municipal account, the situation is more normal today. People drive carefully through the village and the revenue is on par with other speed cameras in the country.

Had it continued in the same crazy style as the first fourteen days, the village's small camera would have raked in ten million euros per month. A considerable amount of money that would far had exceeded the entire village budget - several times over.

The mayor explains that it would then be possible to build a tennis hall and a water park for the villagers. They would have been able to invest in Northern Italy's best preschool and offer free garbage collection and free electricity for all households. They could have had their own medical center with a private doctor and an ambulance helicopter on standby. They could also have sent all children from the village to expensive universities abroad.

At the same time, they could have lowered the village tax rate to zero. If the crazy rate of speeding through the village would have continued, then the camera would have generated a whooping 80 000 EUR per inhabitant per month. The entire village's operations could have been financed by a speed camera that cost 11,800 euros to install.

Peter Ternström
peter@granturismo.org
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