By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, reiterated this week that he plans to take down speed radars along federal highways. For the president, radars take the fun out of driving.
“There is no more pleasure in driving, anywhere you go, it’s full of radars. The use of radar has grown away from the idea of protecting life. It’s a gimmick to increase revenues. It is money that is taken away from the people,” argued the president.
Bolsonaro said that when his administration took office, there were about 8,000 applications for the installation of new radars, all of which were shelved. According to him, the detectors installed on federal highways will also be removed as contracts with companies expire.
On Friday, the National Federation of Federal Highway Police (FENAPRF) issued a statement expressing concern over the president’s remarks about the use of highway radars.
“The main mission of the federal highway police is to save lives. And the proper and technical use of radar equipment is one of the means capable of accomplishing this mission,” says the statement.
“We cannot take steps backward, especially when Brazil still has such alarming numbers of traffic fatalities, many of which stem from the abuse of speed. Surveillance can and should be improved. We cannot agree with the elimination of this type of inspection,” the president of the federation, Dovercino Neto, was quoted as saying to news daily O Globo.
For President Bolsonaro, the radars are not necessary because “there are no locations where there is a risk, and those who suffer accidents are suckers”.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Bolsonaro said he asked Sergio Moro, Minister of Justice and Public Security, to block the renewal of all radar network contracts after the expiration of their contracts.