(Photo: Google Maps)

Motorists commuting through Triq in-Nutar Zarb in Attard beware, as this thoroughfare topped the list for the highest number of speed camera fines issued in 2020, with an average of 21 tickets dished out daily.

Data issued by the National Statistics Office shows that in 2020 €1.7 million in speed camera fines were issued. Under Maltese law anybody caught speeding up to 15km/h over the limit is liable to a fine of €34.94, while any speeding offence of a larger magnitude triggers a fine of €69.88.

It transpires that the highest number of fines were issued in Triq in-Nutar Zarb in Attard whose designated speed limit is of 50 km/h. In 2020, 7,346 fines were issued for speeding contraventions under the €34.94 category, while a further 408 fines were slapped to motorists who were caught speeding well beyond the limit. In total from this road alone €285,150 worth of fines were issued. This particular speed camera has been at the heart of controversy amid complaints that the 50 km/h limit is relatively low for such a busy arterial thoroughfare, which is nowadays part of the Central Link Project. This could explain the high number of speeding offences being flagged. In its part the transport regulator insists the speed limit reflects the fact that this is nonetheless a residential road with garages and driveways protruding into it.

The second most arterial road prone for speeding was the northbound carriageway of the Regional Road tunnel from which the total value of fines issued was of €165,721.

On the other hand, the lowest number of fines were issued in the Mriehel Bypass which is one of the few roads having Malta’s maximum speed limit of 80km/h. According to the NSO, the total worth of fines issues by the camera in the southbound lane towards Marsa in 2020 was just €7,687 which is 37 times less than the speed camera further up the road in Attard. This trend is reflected in the northbound lane of the Mriehel Bypass which ranked as the second lowest in terms of the value of fines issued. However, the speeding offences in this arterial road stand out from the rest as more than half were committed by motorists who were caught speeding in excess of 95 km/h.

Illegal parking remains highest common offence

The NSO also gives a detailed breakdown of the other traffic offences recorded in 2020. On average 555 traffic tickets were issued daily by the police and wardens for a combined value of €5.6 million. However, wardens were four times more likely to issue a fine than police officers.

Illegal parking remained top of the list – arguably the result of the increasing number of vehicles on the road and the acute shortage of parking facilities.  During the period under review an average of 31 tickets were issued daily by the police for illegal parking or stopping which translate to €263,000 in fines.  Significantly, despite the drop in traffic registered in 2020 due to the Covid-19 partial lockdown, illegal parking offences flagged by the police were on the rise when compared to the previous year – from 11,037 in 2019 to 11,287.

From a similar analysis this time of the fines issued by wardens, the respective figure for daily fines issued for illegal parking was of 136, which was a 32% increase on 2019. Overall, these amounted to €1.04 million.

However, in the case of wardens the most common offence motorists driving on the priority lane or contravening carriageway markings with 160 tickets daily. These totalled €1.36 million.