Sun, Jan. 08, 2012

Traffic Enforcement Cameras in Germany

.   55 years ago, German company Telefunken introduced radar equipment for the enforcement of speed limits. Later, traffic enforcement cameras automated the enforcement. The resulting disputes generated a viable market for German attorneys, specialized as Verkehrsanwalt, traffic lawyers. In the United States, a conceptual controversy erupts annually at the beginning of the year, when state assemblies gather to discuss the use of such technology.

After 55 years, the law is largely settled in Germany. In 2010, the Supreme Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe resolved one of the last major issues: Does the automatic taking of an offender's photograph violate the constitutional right to informational self-determination? In the electronic information society, the Bundesverfassungsgericht had discovered, this right represents a subset of personality rights and human dignity protected in articles I and II of the German constitution.

In the matter 2 BvR 759/10, the court recognized that such images affect that protected interest. The state may balance that concern, however, against a statutority defined, overwhelming public interest in safety. The statute authorizing speed cameras, §100h (1)(1) StPO, is constitutional, the court held on July 5, 2010.

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