There is No Privileged Driver or Car in Armenia
"I officially declare that there is no driver in Armenia who will not be held administratively liable for traffic rules violation. There is no vehicle which will not be registered when exceeding speed limit by traffic safety and speed cameras," Deputy Chief of the Traffic Police Armen Khachatryan said at a debate held by the Media Center entitled: "Traffic Safety and Speed Cameras: safety or additional problems?"

Head of the Rule of Law NGO Artak Zeynalyan, for his part, opined that those cameras were installed in violation of legal norms. "In general installing in public places photo and video surveillance devices infringes the citizens' right to personal privacy. Their installing should have been done in accordance with regulatory acts, which was not done." Zeynalyan noted that the Police daily fines about 8,000 people after placing surveillance devices.

The Police representatives downplayed the figure, arguing that it was exaggerated and in reality it does not exceed some 3,000-4,000 people.

Khachatryan also informed that some are complaining about installing cameras at places where cases of breaking traffic rules are frequent. "Where else should they have been placed? At places where there are no breaches of traffic rules? The logic of decision of places for installing these devices is the results of analysis of traffic accidents by the traffic police," [he said].

Daniel Danielyan, head of the center on registering traffic rule violations added that there were places with high rate of traffic accidents, rule breaches and jams. "The analysis conducted after installing of these devices showed that the number of such cases dropped dramatically. Thereupon a decision was made to relocate those speed cameras and after that no fresh accidents have occurred since then at those locations."

Head of the Achilles Center for Defense of Drivers' Rights NGO Eduard Hovhannisyan noted for his part, that a research of complaints about traffic surveillance devices showed that the drivers were not prepared for those abrupt and dramatic changes and innovations, such as traffic safety and speed cameras, as "they used to obtain their driver's licences through bribes back in the Soviet Union period. After installing those cameras the people started to observe the traffic rules."

At the initiative of the Media Center a debate entitled “Traffic safety and speed cameras: safety or more problems?” was held on 1 April, aired live online by the A1+ television,. The participants to the debate were: Deputy Chief of the Traffic Police Armen Khachatryan, Head of the Rule of Law NGO Artak Zeynalyan, Head of the Achilles Center for Defense of Drivers' Rights NGO Eduard Hovhannisyan and Daniel Danielyan, head of the center on registering traffic rule violations. 

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