When driving on the ring road around Madrid, many drivers notice the presence of multiple traffic cameras along the M-30, generally located on the back of gantries or fixed to the top of the tunnel.
They are often confused regarding speed control radars, creating uncertainty on their actual function and on the possible sanctions that may be applied to those driving on this road.
Despite the confusions that may initially arise, not all cameras located along the M-30 use radar or are used to sanction speeding or other offences.
The Spanish General Traffic Directorate has a network of cameras for the majority of the main urban centres in Spain, especially on those with heavier traffic or that are more prone to congestion and traffic delays.
In the case of the M-30, the Madrid City Council manages sanctions, carries out road maintenance and regulates all issues related to traffic, since it is the concession holder, granted by the Ministry of Public Works in 2004.
The cameras are primarily used for control and providing real-time information on the overall traffic situation in that part of the city, but yes, they can issue fines when they are configured for that additional purpose.
There are 3 reasons why these cameras issue fines:
Firstly, they are used as a means of controlling roadworthiness stickers (generally known as ITV, MOT equivalent in Spain). When an expired sticker is detected, in other words if it is out of date, the driver may be fined.
The second reason for fines is when the camera detects that one of the passengers (whether driver or passenger) is not wearing their seat belt when driving. This measure, which caused some controversy when it was introduced, aims to ensure passenger safety and to avoid serious incidents with potential collisions.
60% are located on minor roads and only 40% are on maximum traffic roads. Fines are from €200 and with 3 points on the driving license.
Finally, a third reason for fines is red lights control. These cameras are behind the traffic light boxes and take a snapshot when they detect a car going over the intersection outside of the time determined by the lights. These began to be installed in 2005 and the fines are from €200, with the removal of 4 points from the vehicle registration certificate.
The latter is a measure that does not directly affect traffic on the M-30 itself, but the cameras are present on some access roads, such as the slip road from Avenida del Marqués Corbera-Ricardo Ortiz or from Calle del General Ricardos, before Glorieta del Marqués de Vadillo, where access to the ring road is at the top of the Toledo Bridge.
In summary, these cameras issue fines for these three types of offences. However, the traffic cameras on the M-30 do not fine for speeding, this is reserved for fixed and mobile radar cameras.