Photo: how cameras work to record traffic violations in Ukraine (Getty Images) Author: Konstantin Shirokun
Cameras that automatically record traffic violations are an effective tool for maintaining order on the roads. And an equally effective tool for emptying the driver’s wallet – both a malicious offender and a simply not very attentive driver. It is useful to know the main principles of operation of these cameras.
Read about how the system for automatically recording traffic violations works in the RBC-Ukraine article.
During the preparation of the article, publications from the publication “Autocenter” were used , as well as the portal of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.
A unified system for automatically recording traffic violations in Ukraine was launched back in June 2020. During the first period of the war it was turned off, but in 2023 the system began working again in full force. Not all old cameras have resumed operation, but several dozen new ones have also been launched. According to the latest data, a total of 215 such cameras are used in Ukraine.
Where are the photo cameras located?
The location of the cameras has never been a secret, because the police declare that the main thing is not to punish the violator, but to prevent the violation and the troubles that can happen because of it. The list of all cameras is publicly available, for example, on the official website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Approximately half of them are located in 23 cities and towns, the rest are on state roads. Cameras are installed in places where traffic accidents are concentrated; according to the law, the driver is warned about the presence of a camera by a corresponding sign.
What violations are recorded by cameras?
From the very beginning of their work to this day, cameras on Ukrainian roads automatically monitor only speeding. Each camera knows what limit is set in the area entrusted to it, and automatically detects all cars that exceed it by a certain amount (today it is +20 km/h).
In addition, from the very beginning, the creators of the complex stated that over time it could be configured to detect other violations:
- driving through a prohibiting traffic light;
- violation of stopping and parking rules, including in public transport lanes;
- driving in the oncoming lane;
- violation of rules for crossing railway crossings;
- movement on the sidewalk.
But today these options are not activated. Apparently, this will not happen in the near future and the only violation for which the photo recording system can punish will remain speeding. True, there is one exception: even before the war, one pair of cameras on the boulevard. Mikhnovsky (formerly Druzhby Narodov Blvd.) in Kyiv was taught to track violators on the public transport lane.
How does a recording camera work?
Representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs do not officially disclose all technical details, but based on information from open sources, some conclusions can be drawn.
Thus, the camera covers a road area 50 – 70 m long and 10 – 11 m wide – that is, no more than three lanes. The camera constantly looks ahead and when it catches an object in the frame that exceeds the current limit by 21 km/h, it begins to record video. And when the lens brings better sharpness to the license plate, a photo frame is taken.
Who issues the fine?
The photo taken by the camera is a signal of violation of the Rules; it goes to the analytical center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where the punishment algorithm is launched. The system independently finds the car in the database, compares its model, color and VIN with the state license plate. Here the system identifies the owner and draws up a resolution in his name to impose an administrative penalty.
After this, the patrol police inspector, who has a whole team on duty at the analytical center, checks this document for compliance with the data, primarily the car. If everything is fine with this, the letter is printed and sent by mail to the place of registration (registration) of the legal owner. But first, information about the imposed fine appears in the driver’s personal account in the service center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and in “Diia”. The message is accompanied by a photo and a short video (in the form of a QR link) of the car at the time of the violation.
Who is fined?
We especially note that the decision to collect a fine is issued specifically to the owner of the vehicle, and not to the driver who was driving at the time of the violation. This should be remembered by those who have a car that is used by several people. If the car is registered to an enterprise, the system applies to the unified register of legal entities and a fine is issued to the head of the ATP.
When the cameras are running
The cameras involved in the all-Ukrainian system for recording traffic violations also work at night, assisted by a flash. The only thing that can seriously hinder them is weather conditions, when visibility is basically limited: in thick fog, snowfall, or heavy rain, the cameras will work, but whether the numbers on the resulting photo will be readable is not a fact.
What is the size of the fine for photo recording cameras?
According to the Code of Administrative Offenses (KUoAP) in force in 2023, the fine for speeding starts at 340 UAH. – for exceeding by more than 20 km/h. If the excess is more than 50 km/h, the penalty is 1700 UAH.
Interestingly, for fines “issued” by cameras there is literally a 50% discount: if you pay within 10 days after receiving notification of the fine, then its amount will be half as much. Well, if payment is delayed for more than 30 days, the enforcement service will deal with the violator with all the ensuing consequences.
According to the National Police, in the first year and a half of the camera's operation, the number of accidents in which there were injuries or deaths decreased by 65%. So although we are often bothered by this strict control, the thousands of lives saved are worth any inconvenience. Moreover, none of us are insured against serious road accidents.
Let us remind you that RBC-Ukraine recently talked about how the autopilot works in a modern car.