Speed cameras in Finland
I've become convinced that the network of speed cameras on the highways in Finland exists not to ensure traffic safety, but to instill terror. They lurk at the entrance and exit of many small towns that criss-cross the highway - but not all of the towns (because then you would know to expect it every time). Sometimes the speed cameras are set at 100kph. But sometimes it's 80kph. And sometimes 60kph. Theoretically, every speed camera could be active. But it's common knowledge that only 1 or 2 out of every 3 actually have cameras in them at any given moment. But there's no way to tell, of course! Often the speed limit is clearly posted. Other times, you haven't seen a speed limit sign in miles and then all of a sudden there's a camera and even though you're pretty sure it's 100kph, you slow down to 80kph, just in case. The worst is when a speed camera shows up after a long time with no speed limit sign, and you've been cruising along at 100kph, but you can see a sign just beyond the camera that says 80kph. What does that even mean? Has it been 80kph this whole time??
Oh yeah, and the cameras' sensitivity is set to only 3 or 4 kph over the limit, which leaves very little margin for honest error. If you can see the camera and you're going over the speed limit, it's probably too late for you, and you will be receiving a ticket in the mail soon. (The fine is around €200 - that rumor you've heard about speeding tickets in Finland being a percentage of your income is true, but that penalty doesn't kick in until after multiple offenses or an extreme amount of speeding in one instance).
There has been discussion recently of the police changing the cameras' sensitivity to 1 (ONE) kph over the limit, which was met with public outcry. And the police spokesman was just like, "guys, a speed limit is a speed limit. If you're going 1kph over, you're speeding." ICE. COLD.
This is all the more crazy for us since we moved here from a place (the UAE) where the speed limit signs on major highways regularly said "the 'speed limit' is 120kph but the cameras won't flash you until you're going over 140kph."
Anyway. Can you tell we're on a road trip? We're heading up north for Jeremy's big race (the Karhunkierros 160km ultramarathon). Last year, we were blessed with sunny skies and a snow season that was completely over, which made for dry, "fast" (as fast as you can be during an ultra) trails. This year, there is still quite a bit of snow on the trails. The race director was quoted in an article yesterday saying that he expects that "some racers might even finish the race." We'll see if Jeremy is one of those racers! I'll post the GPS tracking link when I get it.