Minister wants Traffic Safety Law changed
Interior Minister Nebojša Stefanović says he will launch an initiative to change the law in order to increase the number of cameras and thus traffic safety.Source: B92
Only through vehicle registration, citizens of Serbia in the past five years set aside nearly EUR 10 million for improving video surveillance, but according to Committee for Traffic Safety's Damir Okanović, not a single camera was purchased with that money.
"In September the five-year deadline is expiring by which insurance companies are required to set aside money toward a fund for video surveillance, and as far as I know, insurers are not willing to continue with the payments because they do not know what happened to the money that was paid previously," says Okanović.
The topic was brought up after the killing of Luka Jovanović on Branko's Bridge last month by a hit-and-run driver. Footage from the traffic camera on the bridge is almost unusable, even though these cameras are there also to be used to penalize unscrupulous drivers.
According to information B92 received from the Minister of Finance, the money set side to improve traffic-safety related video surveillance each year went to the budget.
Nebojša Stefanović said he "hopes that the money was not inappropriately spent " and announced an initiative to change the law.
"Certainly I will - since it falls under the jurisdiction of the police - together with the Ministry of Transport, initiate amendments to the Law on Traffic Safety, which would envisage more cameras that will cover more of the city. I want to work with Mr. (Rodoljub) Šabić in order to remove any doubt that this is being done to harm some civil rights, but instead only to make the traffic and people safer," said the minister.
The law, however, does not define precisely who has the right to install video surveillance, noted Damir Okanović:
"Those managing roads call on their right to do it, the MUP for its part has an interest, the local government also has an interest in certain cases, even when a road is not under the jurisdiction of a local government but is a state-level road, and it would certainly be good to have some act that will precisely define who has the obligation, that is, the jurisdiction."
Meanwhile, it remains unclear why only one camera is covering an object of special importance such as a bridge, and also whether footage was available from the one on the intersection immediately after Branko's Bridge - and if so, why it has not been published. If not, the question remains about the purpose of those cameras that are already installed.