TROUBLING TRAFFIC: 31 of 70 drivers cited for violations during vehicle checkpoint by local and Troms police Friday


Lots of snow and continuous darkness didn’t deter a “disappointing” number of local drivers from alleged traffic violations, as two people lost their driver’s licenses and 29 traffic-related fines were issued when officials from the National Mobile Police Service helped local police check 70 vehicles Friday afternoon near Longyearbyen’s power plant. 

Of the 29 lesser violations, 27 were due to excessive speed, with the fastest motorist cited at 78 kilometers and an hour in a 50 km/h zone, according to the police service’s Troms district.  The other lesser citations were for using a mobile phone and for carrying too many passengers in the back seat.

One of the revoked licenses was for driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the agency.

There was also a speed check Friday morning near Longyearbyen School, with three of 30 vehicles cited.

“Overall, this is a lot of violations,” Sagfossen. Lt. Gov. Berit Sagfossen said in a prepared statement. “When we see these controls together with the controls we had this fall, this is an area we must focus on in the future.”

The rate of citations was considerably higher than typical checkpoints conducted solely by local police, who do not have radar guns or officers authorized to use them. Furthermore, Svalbardposten reported local police often let motorists off with a warning, but Friday’s joint operation took a much more strict approach is citing violators.