Average speed checks do not infringe on road users’

Average speed checks do not infringe on the protection of privacy, according to the Subdistrict Court of Utrecht in its verdict on 12 May 2015. The decision follows the appeal of a traffic ticket from an average speed check. The appeal was based on the fact that the police store all information for 72 hours. The information is stored for all road users, not just the speeding drivers. The individual argued lack of legal basis for that, making the data storage unlawful.

However, the court ruled that the use of average speed checks to detect speeders is not in conflict with the law. The same holds true for the storage of the images of ‘innocent’ drivers. The Police Act gives the police a legal basis for both activities, according to the court. They are not in conflict with Article 10 of the Constitution or Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Based on this verdict, one can conclude that the police are allowed to store personal information, even without concrete suspicion. Are they then also allowed to store information in other areas without concrete suspicion?

Incidentally, a bill is currently pending which would allow registration data to be stored for multiple weeks. A specific reason would no longer be necessary. If the bill is accepted privacy will be guaranteed even less, and the police will be able to store registration data for longer periods.

If you have any questions on privacy and the power of public authorities, please contact the International Desk for a referral to one of our privacy specialists!

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