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Garmiyan Traffic Directorate to install point-to-point cameras

GARMIYAN – The Garmiyan Traffic Directorate plans to install additional speed detection cameras on roads between urban areas to reduce traffic accidents. The initiative includes more mobile speed cameras and the introduction of new point-to-point cameras.

This new average speed camera system aims, authorities say, to enforce speed limits and improve road safety across the region.

The decision comes after a tragic accident Tuesday on the Kalar-Kifri road, where a minibus carrying students overturned, killing four students and injuring five others, including a teacher and the driver.

Saman Ali, spokesperson for the Garmiyan Traffic Directorate, told 964media, “To reduce traffic accidents, we have decided to increase the daily use of speed detection cameras on roads outside urban areas, especially on the Kalar-Sulaymaniyah, Kalar-Khanaqin and Kalar-Kifri routes.”

“We have tested this before, and just adding more cameras tends to reduce traffic accidents because drivers are less likely to speed,” Ali added.

Ali noted that the contract for installing point-to-point cameras in Garmiyan is comprehensive. The responsible company is finishing work on the Kalar-Sulaymaniyah road. After completion, point-to-point cameras will be installed on various roads outside urban areas within Garmiyan.

Introduced to the Kurdistan Region in 2023, point-to-point cameras measure time taken by vehicles getting from one camera to next, determining vehicle speeds. Previous speed cameras proved ineffective as drivers would slow down suddenly when approaching one only to accelerate upon passing them.

Average speed cameras make it less likely drivers can avoid detection. The introduction of these cameras has sparked controversy, particularly in Sulaymaniyah governorate, creating political challenges for local authorities.

Outside cities, the speed limit for point-to-point cameras is 100 kilometers per hour (about 62 mph) for light vehicles and 80 kilometers per hour (about 50 mph) for heavy trucks.

In 2023, Fadel Haji, Erbil Traffic Directorate spokesperson, told 964media: “Since installing these cameras on the 120-meter road between Kirkuk Street and Banislawa, traffic accidents have decreased by 100%, and no accidents have been recorded.” This claim has not been independently verified by 964media.