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As part of their road monitoring and policing procedures, the DGT has an expenditure budget of 734 million euro this year, with more than half, 441.9 million, being spent on staff costs.

However, thanks to the number of drivers fined for road traffic law violations, the cost is lower than expected, as the entire 360.9 million euro collected from fines is injected back into road safety.

In fact, combining the anticipated 360.9 million euro in fine revenue with the other 506.07 million euro revenue for traffic procedures, the DGT will receive in the region of 869 million, therefore bringing in 135 million euro more than their proposed expense.

Despite the financial assistance given by those who violate the law, the DGT has said than revenue collected from fines has continued to decrease. The end of year figure for 2014 has yet to be completed, but we do know that in the first six months of the year the amount collected was 188.5 million euro.

In addition to the staffing costs already mentioned, the second biggest expense is for feeding and caring for Pegasus, as the helicopters carrying the airborne radar equipment have a 700,000 euro budget for fuel, which doubles to 1,400,000 once tax is added. This budget is shared amongst all of the air bases, with Madrid receiving 34% of the budget, followed by Valencia with 16%, Málaga with 14% and the rest split almost equally between Sevilla, Zaragoza and La Coruña and Valladolid.

The land vehicles take up the next section of costs with 23.11 million euro, including taxes, spent on diesel and petrol on both the peninsula and the Balearics.

Next we add the additional radar equipment purchased towards the end of last year, including two new Pegasus units worth 985,000 euro, as well as 30 portable lazar speed detectors for a total of 1,991,055.00 euro with tax. Despite being purchased in 2014, they are from this year´s budget.

Other motoring related expenditure budgeted for includes the purchase of 1,545 vehicle batteries, at a cost of 189,824.8 euro, and 516,528 euro for motorcycle helmets.

As for where the 360.9 million euro collected from fines comes from, across the Valencia region in 2014 there were 257,175 drivers sanctioned for speeding alone, bringing in a 47.2 million euro share.

Of those drivers caught, 125,055 were done so by fixed devices on the road network, whereas 132,120 were from mobile check points. Last year saw an extra 7,065 drivers caught by mobile devices in this area.

It might be worth noting that the Guardia Civil police speeders using a variety of different pieces of equipment, some “flash” when they get you, some work by infrared, working day and night, others can monitor average speeds between two points. As for the mobile patrols, they work a two-shift system in the morning and afternoon, usually working 5 hour long patrols and moving to different locations throughout their assigned area.

The Guardia Civil also point out that violations recorded by fixed systems correspond exclusively to speed, although some of them can now also check the ITV database to see if the mandatory inspection date has expired, whereas during a mobile patrol, “when the vehicle is stopped, we often also do a breathalyser or documentation check”, a source told us.

As for Pegasus, when the helicopters take to the air, 65% of their total flying time is dedicated to recording, monitoring and sanctioning drivers, although the violations registered are not only speed related.

Whereas the money collected from fines goes back into road safety for new equipment and more policing as explained, a number of road safety associations are calling for that process to be changed, saying that the rather that investing to catch more offenders, the money ought to be invested in road maintenance, signs and signals and aid for victims of road traffic collisions. A representative from the ANC cooperative association says that most accidents occur on secondary roads, accounting for 79% of all fatalities, but these roads receive the less maintenance.

Last year 109 people died on the roads of the Valencian region, in 88 recorded accidents, 16% more than the previous year. To which we must add 27 serious and 39 injured road users, whereas 82 people were lucky enough to come out unharmed.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46116/

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