Anyone who switched to the car because of the train warning strike had to be careful: During the so-called speed camera marathon, the police took action on Friday with increased radar controls against speeders. Not to collect fines, but to point out the dangers of driving too fast, it said. But the campaign is expensive, which is why not all federal states went along with it this time. And whether such an action works, there are doubts even from the ranks of the police.

The speed camera marathon on Friday was not the last in the current year, as the ADAC announced. In the middle of the holiday season, from August 7th to 13th, the police are planning the next one.

Many countries, many ways

“It’s about protecting human lives on the road and curbing senseless frenzy,” said Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU). His country is taking part in the campaign, unlike Berlin, Bremen and Saarland. The success of such measures is “difficult to measure, which is why the relationship between costs and benefits cannot be estimated,” said a spokesman for the Saarland police. In recent years, too, individual countries have opted out of the campaign due to excessive costs or a lack of staff.

Europe-wide action

The German Blitzermarathon is part of the Europe-wide “Speedmarathon”, which has been running since Monday. “Penalties are not the goal, they are just the means,” said Henk Jansen from the European traffic police network “Roadpol”. The action should make speed offenders aware of their dangerous behavior. Flashes should be used especially in front of schools, daycare centers, retirement homes and at accident black spots.


Michael Schreckenberg, traffic expert at the University of Duisburg, doubts the usefulness of the marathon. “Drivers adjust their speed for the next lightning marathon, but not in general,” he told the German Press Agency. According to traffic psychologist Karl-Friedrich Voss, flashing is not enough: “More is needed, for example structural measures such as lane changes at town entrances.” This can be an island in the middle of the lane that gives the road a bend.

Criticism also from the ranks of the police

The police union (GdP) also has its doubts as to whether the control day will do anything. Outside of the priority checks, the risk of being caught is simply far too low, said Vice Chairman Michael Mertens. “Secondly, in this country we are still driving in a fine discount country.” Since November 2021 and the new catalog of fines, speed offenders have had to pay significantly more in some cases. As a result, the income of a number of cities in the first half of 2022 was already significantly higher than in the same period of the previous year, as a survey by the German Lawyers’ Association’s Traffic Law Working Group showed.

What drivers can do

Some federal states such as Bavaria reveal in advance where the speed traps are. Where this is not the case, traffic information can help. On the other hand, so-called speed camera apps, in which road users warn each other about the controls, are not allowed. Incidentally, the passenger is not allowed to use the app either, as the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court ruled in February.