Tuesday, October 24, 2006

El 75% de los agentes de tráfico que manejan los radares no tienen la formación adecuada, según la AUGC

This one from Europa Press.

The Secretary General of the Guardia Civil Association (AUGC), Miguel Perpinya, Pointed out today that 75% of traffic officers responsible for radar enforcement "have not received adequate training" and advised that a large number of the 36,000 fines from the last DGT speed control campaign could be invalidated.

At the same time he added that traffic officers saw themselves under pressure from their superiors to issue a minimum quota of fines.

Furthermore, he commented that working conditions "with an increase in accident rates" makes the traffic section one of the least attractive parts of the Guardia Civil service. Of the potential 11,000 force, only 8,000 places are filled.

For their part, the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) challenged the Asociación Unificada de Guardias Civiles (AUGC) saying that there has been no pressure on officers to issue minimum numbers of reports and fines following the introduction of the new points-based licence.

Moreover, DGT sources indicated to Europa Press that the greater part of their budget comes from administrative and test fees, and not from fines which go directly to the Ministerio de Hacienda (Spain's chancellery).

The speeding and drink-driving campaigns have been carried out to "prick drivers' consciences more than fine them", indicated the same sources. They added that 'tickets' have reduced in the last few years and the fixed radars are always signed in advance.

Controls are carried out as an instrument of "setting an example" with the objective of "reducing offences and therefore casualties and accidents" explained DGT sources.

[Given that all the fixed sites are well signed, I'm surprised anyone gets ticketted. I have only ever seen one mobile radar trap in operation, and this was by the local police, not the GC.]