Speed cameras out of order in Vilnius

  • 2009-07-15
VILNIUS - Pedestrians and drivers alike are at risk after a row between the Vilnius municipality and a speed camera maintenance company, Urbico, has seen all of the city's 19 radars fall into disrepair, rendering them useless.
The Vilnius municipality admitted that all speed radars in Vilnius city were broken. There are currently 19 speed radars in the city, seven of which are mobile and can be positioned in 49 locations 's but none of these are operational.

Urbico was unwilling to comment when contacted by The Baltic Times, but it was reported on local radio that Urbico claims not to have been informed by the city about the need for repairs.
Deputy Mayor Vidmantas Martikonis has campaigned for termination of the contract with the company, which costs the city between 70,000 and 80,000 litas (20,000 to 23,000 euros) per month for maintenance of the radars.
Martikonis said the price is too high because the police actually collect and process the data collected by the radars.

However, Vilnius Mayor Vilius Navickas said he received a promise from the company that all speed radars will be repaired by September. Though this constitutes another three-month wait, if the contract was terminated and new tender was announced the equipment would be out of order for much longer.
Meanwhile, as the city spends money on unfulfilled contracts, many city workers are set to lose their jobs.

The city is planning to dismiss around 30 percent of staff as part of a promise for more efficient administration work, but the opposition suspects that in this way the new administration is creating working places for those in political favor.
The newly organized structure of Vilnius Municipality is to be reorganized "according to knowledge and competence," and not according to the territory the way it used to be until now.
According to Verslo Zinios, only 660 of the current 960 employees will be retained.
 According to Navickas, after the reorganization the bureaucracy apparatus will shrink about 30 percent, while expenditures will go down even more.