For many years motorists in the Philippines have managed to escape the dreaded Speed Camera and have enjoyed a distinct lack of ‘Big Brother’. But times they are a changing…
If you travel towards Subic on the SCTEX there has been a static Speed Camera on a pole near the Westbound rest area for several years. This is now complimented by Speed Camera vans parked on the hard shoulder, to catch unwitting drivers who have a tendency to speed up once they have past the static camera that everyone seems to be aware of. Upon approach to the Subic Bay Tolls many are subsequently pulled-over and issued with a speeding ticket and the inevitable retention of their Drivers Licence. Why taking away an individuals Drivers Licence is necessary is beyond me – as unless you pay a ‘fixer’ to collect it for you – the licence holder needs to make the ridiculously convoluted trip to Manila to reclaim their licence?
Travelling North on the SCTEX towards Tarlac is also a favourite place to be pulled over and issued with a speeding ticket. And even before then, Conception is a regular haunt of the traffic Gastapo.
Anyhow, I digress. I have noticed that as you travel South towards Manila on the NLEX there are now a few places where speed cameras are present on overhead gantries. I suspect that as the Philippine highways expand and modernise, you will see more and more speed cameras present.
Whilst I agree with the concept of speed cameras and anything that might reduce accidents and poor driving, it has been widely proven in other countries (such as Great Britain) that speed cameras do not reduce accidents by a signifacnt margin – but do increase revenue for local councils (Barangays). Many view speed cameras as just an additional tax on the motorist.
Stay safe out there. And bear in mind that if you wish to avoid costly, time consuming trips to reclaim your driving licence – best to stick to the speed limit on the expressways and avoid all the agrivation of going to Manila to get your licence back – along with the costly fine imposed.