Western Australia police claim they have the first rear facing mobile speed camera in Australia for the specific purpose of catching speeding motorcyclists.
However, we checked other police services throughout the country and they say their mobile speed camera vans can scan across multiple lanes and capture vehicles approaching on one side of the road and going away on the other.
In fact, police usually choose to shoot the front of a vehicle rather than the rear as the front number plate is less likely to be obscured by road grime or tow balls.
When they set up their speed camera units, they weigh up the losses of offences for speeding cars because of obscured number plates against the number of speeding riders not caught.
One officer told us they choose front-facing cameras because it gives motorists less time to brake and wash off speed.
Also, it should be noted that all red-light cameras and most fixed seed cameras throughout the country can shoot both ways.
Level playing field
Yet WA Police Commander Scott Higgins and Police Minister Michelle Roberts are claiming they have the first rear-facing mobile cameras to catch riders.
The Minister says the cameras create a “level playing field” between drivers and motorcyclists.
“This is something we’ve wanted to address for years,” she says.
This is typical of the attitude that riders are getting away with speeding offences.
Statistics don’t lie
However, statistics show that speeding cars with obscured number plates are much bigger evaders of speed camera fines than motorcyclists without front number plates.
Early this year we asked for statistics from several states, but only NSW and Queensland replied.
NSW recorded 71,111 speed camera offences unable to be issued because a vehicle could not be identified and Queensland it was 60,332, which represented about 10% of all speed camera offences in each state.
In NSW, 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.
That doesn’t stop police and mainstream media frequently demonising riders by publishing sensationalist stories showing riders speeding past speed cameras.