Interpellations Authorities: Offenses proven with traffic footage
ROMANIA – THE HIGHEST RATE IN THE EU IN FATAL ACCIDENTS
Romania is the member state of the European Union with the highest rate of fatal accidents on the roads. Traffic congestion, the condition of the roads, but especially the non-observance of traffic rules, both by traffic participants and pedestrians, are the main causes of the producers of serious accidents. He may not be accommodated when the intentional or culpable violation of these rules has gone unpunished after he has been caught by road users by unapproved technical means.
The application of sanctions for non-compliance with traffic rules differs from one inspectorate to another:
- some inspectorates following the viewing and research of such audio-video recordings applied contravention sanctions and available some complementary measures (Constanța County Police Inspectorate, Cluj County Police Inspectorate, Iași County Police Inspectorate, Vâlcea County Police Inspectorate – ANNEX 1)
- instead, other inspectorates are of the opinion that these deeds cannot be sanctioned because they are not ascertained directly by the road agent or by several certified / homologated / metrologically verified technical means (Prahova County Police Inspectorate, Bucharest Road Brigade – ANNEX 2)
Numerous video images captured by traffic participants circulated in the public space, where contraventions can be found. I wanted to see the position of the authorities and the practice related to these deviations caught by the cameras. I made punctual inquiries and I also asked for a general situation for such road deviations captured on video.
PRAHOVA COUNTY POLICE INSPECTORATE
We took as an example the case of the driver who was videotaped driving in the opposite direction, tens of kilometers, on DN1 (Prahova County). He also reached 130 kilometers / hour without being stopped by a police car, although he called 112 at least twice.
In this context, I contacted ISJ Prahova in order to obtain more information on this case. And regarding the communiqué offered by them in which they transmitted that those audio-video images cannot be used to sanction the guilty driver, as they are not made with approved technical means.
In response to my interpellation, the police informed me that the traffic rules violated face to face were part of the category of contraventions corresponding to art. 109 para. (1) of GEO 195/2002 can be ascertained only directly through one’s own senses by an ascertaining agent.
BUCHAREST ROAD BRIGADE AND BUCHAREST ROAD DIRECTORATE
Another example is the one with a Vatman employee who was videotaped driving the tram number 23 (indicative 134), in the Ferentari neighborhood, Sector 5, Bucharest. He did not give priority and almost to scatter on the pedestrian crossing a mother with three children.
I addressed the Bucharest Road Brigade and the Bucharest Road Directorate in order to obtain more information on this case. I asked if any complaints had been received and if the necessary measures had been taken.
The Road Brigade informed me that the vatman employee had been invited to the headquarters and was warned about the road conduct he had to adopt (ANNEX 3). According to the police point of view, nothing could be done but the commission of the contravention could be confirmed according to art. 109 of GEO no. 195/2002 regarding the traffic on public roads. The only approach taken by the Road Brigade was to notify the Bucharest Transport Companies in order to take internal measures according to the competencies.
So far, I have not received a response from the Bucharest Road Department.
MINISTRY OF INTERIOR
Related to this subject, I also addressed the Ministry of Interior regarding the need to take measures in this regard. I requested the communication of a point of view regarding the legislation on the situation of finding contraventions also through non-approved chambers.
The Government, in its view, must not take legislative initiatives in this regard. Considers that it is not appropriate for institutions to be able to detect violations of the road regime through information made with unapproved video technical means, by reporting the probative value of this information and to create preconditions for abusive and illegal sanctions in the context of non-detained traffic police attributions or competencies in certifying the veracity of these video recordings.
He also mentions that in 2019, other states were consulted regarding the incident legislation and ways to find contraventions. It turned out that most of the states that responded to the request did not implement such a method. The reasons would fall within the scope of data protection their personal. And the fact that the technical means belonging to third parties are not authorized for the finding of contraventions. (ANNEX 4)
CONSTANTA COUNTY POLICE INSPECTORATE
But as we have shown above, the practice is not unitary. Some inspectorates, following the viewing and investigation of such audio-video recordings, apply contravention sanctions and order complementary measures. Among them is the Constanţa County Police Inspectorate. He informed me that the contravention sanctions apply only if the ascertaining agent has at his disposal all the data, obtained directly, through his own senses or through technical means (including video recordings). In the absence of the necessary evidence to describe the offense, to indicate the date, time and place where it was committed, as well as to show all the circumstances that may serve to assess the gravity of the offense and assess any damage caused by Article 180 of GD No. 1391 / 2006, the report of finding the contravention cannot be concluded.
In 2021, as before, the traffic participants made available to the Constanţa County Police Inspectorate video recordings that captured deviations from the road regime. Based on these data, the Inspectorate applied the contravention sanctions after identifying the offender and verifying the reported issues. In the above-mentioned cases, the persons sanctioned for minor offenses were summoned and made written statements, most often, acknowledging the deviations captured by the video recordings. (ANNEX 5)
- 12.05.2021: Interpellation addressed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (read the document)
- 28.05.2021: Answer from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (read the document)
- 18.05.2021: Interpellation addressed to the Police Inspectorate of Prahova County (read the document)
- 31.05.2021: Answer from the Police Inspectorate of Prahova County (read the document)
- 21.05.2021: Interpellation addressed to the Bucharest Traffic Police Brigade (read the document)
- 05.07.2021: Answer from the Bucharest Traffic Police Brigade (read the document)
- 24.05.2021: Interpellation addressed to the Bucharest Traffic Police Directorate (read the document)
- 30.07.2021: Interpellation addressed to the Constanţa County Police Inspectorate (read the document)
- 19.08.2021: Interpellation addressed to the Constanţa County Police Inspectorate (read the document)