Speed cameras a rort, says cop union

speed cameras

Speed cameras are misused as revenue-raisers rather than road safety aids, says West Australian Police Union president George Tilbury.

It’s not a statement that many would disagree with or find surprising, except for the fact that it is the police union making the admission.

George says the deployment of speed cameras is not in rural black spots where most accidents happen in WA, but in high-volume city traffic where more drivers are caught for minor speed infringements.

“Good people within this state often going a couple of kilometres over the speed limit get pinged for speeding,” Mr Tilbury is reported as saying.

He has called for more police patrols to catch dangerous motorists and act as a visible warning to other motorists.

The government and police bosses have dismissed his comments as a union ploy to get more police.

That may be the case, except for the fact that governments and police everywhere seem to have the same misguided reliance on speed cameras as both their primary road safety “weapon” and as a revenue-raiser.

Governments are addicted to the multimillion-dollar revenue and would have trouble filling that void in their budget, so we can’t see many backing off the use of speed cameras or changing how they are used.

speed camerasMeanwhile, most opinion polls of motorists show the majority believe speed cameras, especially mobile units, are used as revenue-raisers and that more speed cameras will not necessarily lead to safer roads.

Is it any wonder when many mobile speed cameras are placed on downhill roads, in places where speed zones change, hidden behind bushes, inside unmarked vehicles and even placed in wheelie bins to “trap” motorists?

Those same polls often show few motorists object to a fixed speed camera with good warning signs placed in areas of known black spots. These cameras effectively slow the traffic at that point of danger.

So fixed speed cameras are great road safety tolls, just not as effective revenue-raisers as improperly placed mobile units.

Congratulations to George for speaking the truth and it’s about time other police, road safety experts and politicians admitted that speed cameras may be good tools for road safety when used correctly, but they are commonly misused as revenue-raisers.

8 Comments

  1. A Captain Obvious if ever I’ve seen one. Of course it’s revenue raising and where does the money go you ask? Well, not back into road transport infrastructure or some sort of touchy feely road safety campaign but straight to ‘Consolidated Revenue’. A seemingly bottomless pit of money spent on propping up ineffectual, numpty state governments.

    1. It would be truly great if all the revenue from so-called safety cameras did, in fact, pour into consolidated revenue.

      But alas, here in the great state of Victoria, it does not. Firstly the private company that supplies the (cough cough) the service, of taking the photo, in the first place.

      Then the private company issuing the fine, Victoria’s civil compliance. With of course its token police officer’s signature on the bottom.

      Of course, don’t forget, VicRoads will destroy most of that with administration costs, a couple of overseas junkets, a few useless give aways USB sticks shaped as a spoked wheel, and sun screens.

      So I’m very interested in hearing what percentage of road safety camera revenue actually does makes its way to funding real world road safety upgrades of our road system.

      The cynic in me is tipping two tenths of sweet F A, will be the true answer.

  2. Quote: “Good people within this state often going a couple of kilometres over the speed limit get pinged for speeding,”
    Mr Tilbury is reported as saying.”

    Like Mark Taylor, I got my first and only ticket in any vehicle 2 weeks back. I got my license in 1970 some 46 years ago.
    Also in Qld; just leaving Dayboro towards Petrie, down hill at 67 in a 60 zone weekday at 11 AM blue sky day.
    I saw the 60 sign and braked as the good safe rider than I am, but too late. Never saw the hidden camera car as just over the hill the single lane has a dead end wide bit of road hidden by the hill. No chance to spot this one.
    Of course there is a previous sign on going out of the 50 town zone and I am old enough to remember when this section of road was posted at 100, then 80, and was 70 and now 60. Not long till 50 at this rate and nothing has really changed there in terms of traffic density or public risk.

    Yes, my fault for day dreaming that the limit was still 70 like last time there some time back, but the $157 & 1 point sucks seeing that I saw 2 driver’s running stale red lights same day and that could have been me at a legal 60 getting T boned and dead.
    The joke was in the fine & points letter : Qld is the only state where the monies from fines is solely used for road safety.
    This is false, as the money is pumped into road duplication of lane works that they have to fund anyway, as they are always quoting “safety” for these upgrades.
    Glad I could donate my $157 so a group of pollies can get a camera opportunity cutting the ribbon on TV, spruking “road safety”.

  3. For how long have I/we been saying the exact same thing?
    So now even the cops have admitted to the fact, that it is pure revenue raising, and road safety has in fact, got very little to do with “so called safety cameras” and its effect on road safety.
    So therefore, only the truly moronic, and the mislead governments (courtesy of the likes of VicRoads, TAC, the spineless wimpy ministers and the private companies that reap the cash cow rewards) that still believe safety cameras do have a valid, non revenue justification.
    To those mentioned above, hang on tight, the big broom is coming.

  4. There are studies that show that the over use of speed cameras and other infringement generating devices have a detrimental effect on road safety. So if Austroads the police and politicians were serious about saving lives the would restrict the use of such devices to where and when they can actually do some good.
    The 85th percentile is considered to be the safest speed for any road and the vast majority of properly trained and experienced drivers , riders will travel at that speed naturally and slow as required by conditions. This is the speed that requires the least effort to concentrate and stay focused and is therefore the safest as the driver is not overtaxed or distracted, yet very few roads have the limit set at the 85th percentile most are below half that or even lower all claiming it’s for safety but we all know what it’s really for.

  5. They are spot on. The cameras are no where near as effective as an officer in a vehicle on our roads. That’s fact that no one denies.
    The irony of a speed camera is that it does only that. It works only at that location to slow traffic or fill government coffers.
    The officer in the car costs money. But the officer being seen by a driver has an effect that lasts for km’s and if you see a few more it has a dramatic effect to calm to traffic improving driver responsibility. In the case if an offender it works for speed, drunks, drugs, stolen, unregistered, dangerous drivers, incident response, defective vehicles, loads, and even mobile phone use.
    If the government are serious about reducing the $27bn annual road trauma bill they would be taking note of this

  6. My first speeding ticket in 34 years… 57k in a 50 zone going down a hill with the brakes on. Speed cameras. Every k over is cash for the government coffers. Nothing at all to do with speeding. Look at all the tickets issued for speeding over Easter and nobody died. If every K over was a killer.. there wouldn’t be enough ambulances to carry all the dead bodies. Traffic finds its own speed.. sometimes just over the limit and sometimes under the limit. There are less people killed on the roads now than in 1970 when we only had 1 million registered vehicles in QLD and he had around 700 deaths. The road toll is coming down, fast but will never be zero. It’s just flash for cash!

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