Motorists commuting through Malta’s ‘most beautiful road’ are statistically mostly at risk of incurring a speeding fine, as almost a third of these contraventions are issued along this popular thoroughfare.

It transpires that in 2022, 15,093 speeding tickets were issued in this arterial road known as the Coast Road, which represents 30% of all speed camera fines issued during this 12-month period.

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri tabled this statistic in parliament in reply to a question from Opposition MP David Agius. 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.

In total in 2022, 50,743 speed camera fines were issued which is significantly higher than the respective total of two years before which stood at 43,269. These devices are installed as a deterrent against speeding, particularly in well-known black spots. As a matter of fact, the four speed cameras installed along the Coast Road were installed on the recommendation of a magisterial inquiry into a series of fatal crashes, all of  which caused by excessive speed. Inaugurated seven years ago as part of a project comprising the addition of a new lane in both carriageways, the road had been dubbed by State road agency Infrastructure Malta as the ‘most beautiful’ on the island. However, it was only last year, specifically in April that all of the four speed cameras were installed.

A further analysis of the statistic reveals that the lower the speed limit, the higher the number of speeding tickets issued. This explains why the camera along Triq in-Nutar Zarb in Attard , which is in a 50km/h zone, ranks highest overall, with 10,771 contraventions issued in 2022.

However, a significantly high number of tickets issued were from a particular camera located opposite the Maghtab landfill in a 60km/h zone, along the carriageway heading to Bahar ic-Caghaq. Though it was only operational from May 2022 onwards, 6,171 fines were issued here, which is more than the annual total of the two cameras at the Regional Road tunnel in St Julian’s.

All gone quiet at St Paul’s Bay Bypass until May

The statistic also reveals a rather bizarre trend as in the first five months of 2022, not a single speeding ticket was issued from the two cameras in the St Paul’s Bay Bypass. This is even more awkward in the wake of the complaints from St Paul’s Bay residents about the noise disturbances caused by the speeding vehicles in the early hours of Sunday. No explanation was given for the complete absence of any speeding violations for five entire months. In May 2020, no less than 154 fines were issued by the police in a single weekend for speeding offences in St Paul’s Bay Bypass, Mellieha Bypass and the Coast Road.

Though in the last two months of 2022, just two speed camera fines were issued in St Pauls’ Bay Bypass, this could be attributed to the fact that part of this road was closed to traffic due to resurfacing works.