Cars bigger evaders of speeding fines

speeding cameras covert

Speeding cars with obscured number plates are much bigger evaders of speed camera fines than motorcyclists without front number plates.

A New Zealand authority earlier this year called for fixed and mobile speed cameras to be turned around to photograph the rear of vehicles after noting many motorcyclists evading fines.

For years Australian police, safety Nazis and transport authorities have been researching the introduction of motorcycle front number plates to address the issue.

Statistics don’t lie

However, our research shows that motorcyclists are not the biggest evaders of speed camera offences, after all.

We asked for statistics from several states, but only received replies from NSW and Queensland transport and police departments.

In the past year, NSW recorded 71,111 speed camera offences unable to be issued because a vehicle could not be identified. It was 60,332 in Queensland, representing about 10% of all 582,554 speed camera offences.

However, NSW says speeding fines could not be issued to only 2712 motorcycle riders, or just 3.8% which is fair as motorcycles are about 4% of all road users.

In Queensland, the stats show only 759 motorists or 1.2% could not be recorded because there is no front number plate. Furthermore, not all of those would be motorcycles as some cars, trucks and other vehicles may have been missing a front number plate.

So the argument that motorcycles should have front number plates so they can’t avoid speeding fines is ridiculous. Statistically, it’s just not that much of an issue!

That doesn’t stop police and mainstream media frequently demonising riders by publishing sensationalist stories showing riders speeding or doing a wheelie past speed cameras.

They claim thousands of riders are wantonly avoiding speeding fines, but the statistics show they are not as big an issue as obscured plates on other vehicles.front number plate turn speed cameras around speeding

Speed camera use

Fixed and mobile cameras can be used to photograph the front or back of a vehicle.

It seems police are often likely to shoot the front of a vehicle so the motorist has less time to reduce their speed when they see the camera.

Also, the rear plates are often obscured by road grime, tow balls and other fixtures.

In fact, in Queensland, unclear plates represent 45,121 (75%) of the unidentified speeding vehicles and in 3081 cases (5%), the plate is obscured by a fitting.

Case against front plates

A comprehensive 2014 Victorian Motorcycle Council report found that implementing front number plates – or “people slicers” as they used to be called – would cost the motorcycle community millions in initial outlay and ongoing annual costs.

Their front number plate policy statement covers issues such as aesthetics, costs, road safety, history, speeding offences, design rules, electronic tags and more.

In one of the most compelling cases, the VMC claims it would cost the Victorian motorcycling community some “$30 million with an ongoing $1 million-plus annually plus the cost of a yet-to-be-determined suitable FNP design. This is a significant impost on any community and such a cost imposition for no net benefit should categorically rule out the proposal”.

They say it would also ruin the resale value of Victorian motorcycles and affect the interstate trade in bikes.


  1. In england most of the hated average speed camera installations alternate between front and rear facing, and other fixed cameras are in either direction, often in pairs facing opposite directions about the distance of a facebook-addict’s attention span apart. Mobile sites (either camera van or police officer with handheld) usually have some form of CCTV facing the opposite direction to the sppeed camera in order that missing plates or bikes are reliably caught.

    Of course what tends to happen with mobile cameras is the patrol just down the road picks up the first bike they see, regardless of colour or type. 136MPH Sir? On an XV535? Can I have a copy of my picture please, I’d like to frame it… You can go, apparently it was a black sportsbike not an oxide-red cruiser.

  2. Should be given a medal for exceeding speed limit, not a fine 🙂

    because anyone I’ve seen travelling over the speed limit is a competent driver
    so why are we fining people for being competent drivers?

    Good story.

  3. A moot point which one expects will be resolved by technological advances in the next 5 or so years – eg. when you register your bike you are provided with a transponder which you fix to the bike (a round piece of plastic which won’t slice you up). It is sensitive to\activated by speed cameras, mobile speed cameras, toll road stations, road work sites – you name it – pretty much anywhere where authorities deem adherence to a particular speed is important.

    Watching the fiasco of drivers (not) trying to merge on the M1 heading to\from the Springsteen concert last night I pondered how long it will be until all vehicles can be externally controlled by computer to perform these types of mass traffic manoeuvres. 10 – 15 years max me thinks for cars and trucks. Probably the only hope for large cities like Brisbane which can’t cope with current traffic volumes but are happily planning to double populations over the next 20-30 years.

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