Five of the DGT's radar traps in Malaga province have the dubious honour of being among the most active in Spain, and the eastern bypass around the provincial capital city, the A7, stands out on this 'black list', especially the device between the Cerrado de Calderón and El Palo exits. Last year it caught 48,771 drivers speeding, making it the number one in the country. It had already achieved that in 2018 with 54,377, but the figure dropped to 13,930 the following year because there were periods during which it was not operative.
Nor is it the only one to figure on the list of 'The 50 least-respected radars', which the Traffic department publishes each year. In the top ten, in 7th place, is the speed trap situated ten kilometres further east on the A7, but in the Malaga direction, shortly before the Rincón de la Victoria turning.
The third busiest in the province, and 18th nationally, was on the old western bypass (now the MA-20), a few metres before the Carlos Haya tunnel, with 19,645 fines, while one of the two average speed devices covering stretches of Las Pedrizas motorway (A-45) was in 39th place, with 12,856.
At these four points the maximum permitted speed is 80 km/h, and the fifth busiest radar in the province (and 45th in the country) is in a spot where the limit is 60 km/h on the A-384 at Almargen. It was responsible for 11,765 fines being issued last year.
These five are among those which photograph the highest number of drivers in the country, although in the past that only used to apply to the one covering a stretch of road over the tunnel on the Autovía del Mediterráneo (A-7) in the Nerja direction at Torrox.
There is a similar situation with the speed traps at Las Pedrizas (A-45) in the Malaga direction. When they were installed in mid-2014 one of them directly became responsible for the highest number of fines in Spain, but they have gradually become less active because the accident rate has fallen. For example, in 2017 they were only in operation for 55 days.
What triggers these radar devices? The law stipulates a margin of error, so there is a difference between the speed limit and the one which incurs a fine. The mobile radar devices follow a Rule of Seven: a leeway of seven kms where the maximum permitted speed is 100 km/h or less, and seven per cent on faster roads. So, for example, on an 80 km/h stretch of highway, the camera will be triggered if a vehicle travels at 88 or more.
On the fixed and portable devices on tripods and in parked cars, the margin is five km/h on roads where the limit is 100 km/h or lower, and five per cent on faster roads. The devices that monitor the average speeds on stretches of road apply the same system.