Speed camera breaks down in Rotterdam after thousands race by

A speed trap stands by the road near Arbon on Lake Constance. A camera set up to catch drivers breaking the speed limit at a motorway construction site in the Dutch city of Rotterdam broke down due to the sheer number of cars surging by. Felix Kästle/dpa
A speed trap stands by the road near Arbon on Lake Constance. A camera set up to catch drivers breaking the speed limit at a motorway construction site in the Dutch city of Rotterdam broke down due to the sheer number of cars surging by. Felix Kästle/dpa

A camera set up to catch drivers breaking the speed limit at a motorway construction site in the Dutch city of Rotterdam broke down due to the sheer number of cars surging by.

"It was approaching ten thousand fines per day," a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office told broadcaster RTL.

The problem was not the frequency of the contraventions but that the processing system was unable to handle the large number of drivers being recorded.

Local reports said many commuters had not yet adjusted to a new speed limit of 70 kilometres per hour while the motorway bridge is being renovated.

"Perhaps we switched the speed camera on too early," the spokesman said.

The authorities turned off the camera again just days after it was set up, due to the technical problems and high number of speeding motorists. "It is not an end in itself to register as many offences as possible," the spokesman said.

Drivers caught in recent days will no longer have to pay the fines issued and the city has set up additional signs to warn drivers to slow down.

The camera has since been reactivated. "Road users have had time to get used to the new situation," the public prosecutor's office's spokesman said.

Tests in recent days show the number of fines issued has fallen significantly compared to the start of the month.