Holiday riders caught on covert TruCAM

Brisbane riders who spent Wednesday’s Ekka Holiday riding the famed Mt Glorious Rd may find they have an unwelcome TruCAM speeding fine in the mail in the next couple of weeks.

This video was recorded by rider David Englebright, showing police in the bushes using the TruCAM hand-held laser digital camera to record speeding offences.

Holiday surprise

“Being a public holiday in Brisbane a lot of people were out enjoying a drive or ride over Mt Glorious,” he says.

“They will get a rude shock in a few weeks.

“Little did they know a policemen was hiding in the bushes of the far side of Mt Glorious on a downhill selection of road with a TruCAM taking pics of vehicles going down the hill.

Video TruCAM
David on his Triumph

“This is a section where a billy cart would do more than 60km/h.

“This is no deterrent to speeding, just revenue raising.”

While there is no longer any requirement for speed camera detection signs, the Queensland police website clearly states: “It is not the policy of the Queensland Police Service to deliberately conceal speed cameras.”

Covert concerns

This is yet another incident which may spark debate over the lack of speed deterrence in covert operations while others will argue “if you’re not speeding, you have nothing to worry about”.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers says these “sneaky” devices do not reduce the road toll nor stop motorists from speeding.

“Getting a ticket in the mail up to a month after speeding when you can barely remember even where you were back then, has no effect and is quite rightly cynically viewed as revenue raising,” he said.

RACQ technical and safety policy spokesman Steve Spalding says they also prefer a visible police presence.

“Our members have repeatedly told us that over the years, they much prefer to see a police officer use a marked vehicle, not just for speeding, but for all of the other problem behaviours that we see on the road,” he says.

Is covert detection legal?

Police using covert TruCAM laser speed camera impossible
Police using TruCAM laser speed camera in an unmarked car with tinted windows

Well, yes and no. It depends on the state and how the speed detection equipment is deployed.

We asked police in every state for their policies on covert speed detection and most replied.

Victoria Police say mobile speed cameras are “not deployed in a concealed way”, but didn’t answer questions about handheld devices and cops hiding in bushes.

South Australia Police say they make “no apologies about using covert, camouflaged cameras to detect dangerous road behaviour”.

WA Police basically told us it was none of our business: “We use various tools to assist in our traffic enforcement capabilities.  We will not be providing details of specific tools or methodologies.”

NSW Police say they “use a range of enforcement strategies to assist in reducing road trauma”. But, like the WA cops, they say it’s none of our business.

“For operational reasons it would be inappropriate to discuss the guidelines surrounding these strategies. If riders and drivers observe the speed limits, then they have nothing to be concerned about,” they say.

Queensland Police are a little vague, telling us the Queensland Camera Detected Offence Program “utilises an evidence-based mixture of covert and marked camera operations”.

MUARC report

Police Covert speed camera
Somewhere in there is a cop with TruCAM!

Motorists, police unions and motoring groups are fighting a losing battle against covert speed detection.

Politicians and police typically cite a Monash University academic and an Auditor General’s report that back covert speed cameras as more effective at reducing general speeding than high-visibility cameras.

Monash University Accident Research Centre professor Max Cameron says high-visibility speed cameras are only good for reducing speed at a black spot.

Mobile speed cameras were originally introduced to reduce speed at black spots. NSW still has very prominently signed fixed and mobile speed cameras, Western Australia is now trialling more visible speed cameras and England is going all-out to make the cameras much more visible.

However, Queensland has removed the signs warning of mobile speed cameras and a report by Queensland’s auditor-general found they are not always deployed at the right time, in the right location, or in the “right mode” (not covert enough).

The report says only 16.3% of mobile deployment hours is covert because police want to avoid perceptions of revenue-raising.

It recommends that a high percentage of covert deployment would prompt a general deterrence to speeding.

Professor Cameron agrees: “… if you’re trying to affect speeding all the time then the best idea is to make sure the cameras aren’t predictable or apparent and to operate them covertly,” the professor says. “The idea of being conspicuous is really in the wrong direction.”

22 Comments

  1. For Pete’s sake they have been using speed cameras for decades. Has the issue of speeding been resolved? No? It is a failed method that only continues because it raises revenue.

  2. I thought that under QLD health & safety laws the scum have to wear hi viz when working near a road at all times, if this is the case they are breaking the law while carrying out their revenue raising duties, would this make the tickets issued void as the police were carrying out an ilegal activity when the tickets were issued?

  3. I wonder if the solution is to ride bikes that handle so poorly 60 seems like 160.
    Maybe that’s why new bike sales are down and exhaust wrapping is up…

  4. Simple answer is DON’T SPEED, sorry to say most motor bike riders seem to have the opinion that they can do whatever they want. Overtake on double white lines etc etc etc.

    1. Speeding is not exceeding the speed limit! Speeding is going too fast regardless of the limit.
      Radar and lidar have been known to clock trees and brick walls at speeds well above the zero they’re actually doing so what hope do you have of not being booked when not speeding? I have been booked a number of times for speeding when traveling under the posted limit once for over three times my actual speed. To those idiots who say don’t speed don’t get fined. I say ride or drive enough through places where they plant speed traps and you will get fined regardless of how fast you are actually going.

      Bikes are not cars and should not be judged on what is safe for a car only idiots do that.

  5. Covert revenue raising cameras means people will use covert license plate protectors to prevent the BS revenue raising happening in the first place. What are you gonna do, seriously?!

  6. Speed cameras exist because we proved we are incapable of regulating our behaviour for the sake of others. It’s necessary because people cannot be trusted.
    If we remove the cameras, how do you suggest we hold people accountable for speeding?
    How many police would you like to make up the difference? Or would you rather they stop enforcing the laws?
    People like this pizz n moan about it just because they want to go faster. No other practical reason whatsoever.
    But they seldom have any solutions.
    Pretty petty don’t you think?

    1. Speed cameras actually cost lives.
      The whole premise of speed kills is a confidence trick.
      The type of speeding that results in the most number of injuries and deaths is that which occurs below the posted speed limit or very close to it. This type of speeding is due to people not slowing down when the circumstances dictate that they should be traveling slower than the limit.
      But because all the education involving speeding fines and cameras etc is about not exceeding the limit people are being killed speeding under the limit because they think the limit is safe or they are so focused on their speedo trying not to cop a fine they don’t see the kid who runs out chasing a ball and drives right over them at 40kph.
      So to those idiots who say don’t speed don’t get fined. I say grow a brain and stop being a sheep.

  7. Must be trying to make up what they missed when a mate and I zinged thru that exact spot a few years back at 120.

    Police bike parked facing us, but “rider” was taking a leak over the embankment.
    Don’t know who needed new undy dacs first: us or him. LOL
    At the rate he was closing his zipper he may have caused himself an even more painful embarrassment. ROFLMAO.

  8. I can always remember a friend of mine who was a inspector in the NSW Police Force for many years of those most wherein the country areas of NSW. He always maintained that a visual police presents was more effective than non visual

  9. “Evidence based”!! Ha, pretty shaky evidence if you ask me!
    Luckily, if the camera was where it was shown, then it would only get bikes moving away from there location and not towards as the article would seem to indicate.

  10. The reason they’re being vague or obscure is that there are rules they have to follow for the readings to be usable in court. And if everyone were to find out those rules many of the dodgy Fines would be tossed out.
    Hand held laser devices can give highly inaccurate readings if there is any panning across a surface, you can get a brick wall to speed if you have a shaky hand.
    The Australian standard for speed measuring devices lists the proper deployment of these devices and states that DownHill readings are a no no and so does the QLD police handbook on such devices, however they have penciled in a caveat about being able to hide and place traps on downhill runs under special circumstances with permission of the area commander.
    One of the special conditions is that the area (within two kilometres) has to be considered a black spot another is alleged community concern over speeding. From what I can see in the photo there might be a number of fails in position and field of view that are meant to be prohibited by the standard and the handbook. But taking these fines to court could be very costly as the QLD government don’t like the idea of people challenging their revenue stream so they have tacked on a don’t f#ck with us provision if you take a speeding fine to court and lose they hit you with an extra $4500 fine for trying to exercise your right to go to court.

  11. Shows how disingenuous the police are. It’s not even the fact they are getting speeders, its the fact they lie and say it is for “road safety” when clearly it’s a revenue raising decision. I mean, give the public some credit and just be honest about it and I imagine there would be a lot less frustration.

    Interested how this meets the QLD Police guidelines for speed detection guidelines (https://www.police.qld.gov.au/corporatedocs/OperationalPolicies/Documents/TrafficManual/Chapter6.pdf). Specifically:

    6.3.2 Restrictions on speed detection device site locations (restricted site locations) POLICY
    Speed detection devices should not generally be operated in the following restricted site locations:
    (i) on a road which could be described as the downgrade of a hill;
    Obviously exceptions are applied to this but would be nice to FOI the information the individual officer who set up there used proving “the documented “history” of crashes and/or the public complaints register” about this specific downhill section.

    And fairness is highly subjective, but “When operating a speed detection device in any restricted site location, the officer in command is to consider the aspect of fairness towards the motoring public”. I fail to see the “fairness” in hiding in bushes to get people on a downhill section and not even pursue and stop them on the day, but send a pic in the mail weeks later…

    I suppose this is why I avoid Glorious, Nebo and Mee as much as possible. To be fair I also put some blame on the idiots who do speed excessively in the public section (raising the ire of residents) or push too hard (being hero’s) and crash, which then gives the police the justification to set up these speed traps to catch the majority of us who are sensible but sometimes creep above the speed limit because we are more concerned with actually setting up correctly for the corner and not focussing on our speedo.

    Anyway, this is the nanny state we live in, state governments need their revenue so it is only ever going to get worse.

  12. “none of our business”

    Yeah it’s not like the government is suppose to work for us or anything right?

    All this is, is the modern equivalent of brigands on the highways.

  13. I think that when I’m driving to work at one am in the morning and pass a police speed camera vehicle in a dark grey colour and no lights on or warning triangles and parked on the tiny hard shoulder of the M1 between gold coad and Brisbane is down right dangerous and stupid.
    If we did that we would get a ticket . If we caused a fatal accident because of our blatant dangerous park, we would more than likely get locked up.
    REVENUE !!!!!!!! Yes. Reducing road toll NO

    1. That the time most hoons are acting like morons, not only cars. Had an instance when 4 cars formed a rolling road block, so their moron friends could race each other. If you get fined for no reason, fight it in court, I’ve done it twice and won both times

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