Police have defended their use of a covert Trucam mobile speed camera unit at the bottom of a 7.9km downhill section of the rider-popular Mt Mee Rd, northwest of Brisbane.
This follows a call earlier this month from the Queensland Police Union for an immediate end to the use of unmarked and covert speed cameras, saying they do nothing more than raise government revenue.
QPU president Ian Leavers said the “sneaky” devices did not reduce the state’s road toll nor stop people 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.
He called for a visible policing presence and well-marked police speed camera vans, saying covert cameras had damaged the reputation of police officers.
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.
However, Queensland Police have defended the use of the covert Trucam speed camera at the bottom of Mt Mee.
The camera has been placed at the bottom of a 7.9km section of smooth hotmix on the downhill section of rural Mt Mee that is posted at just 60km/h.
That is despite seeming to contravene rule 6.3.2 of the Queensland Police Traffic Manual about placement on downhill sections.
It follows many similar incidents in other states of police seemingly not following their guidelines for speed camera placement.
In a statement, Queensland Police says Section 9 of the Traffic Manual allows mobile speed camera sites to be placed on downhill sections of a road “due to the crash risk potential”.
There are a number of sites approved on the Mount Mee Road corridor.
The site at Mount Mee Road at Delaneys Creek is an approved speed camera site. Mount Mee Road has a sickening history of serious and fatal crashes, one of the crash sectors for this road alone has a crash social cost of over $23 million.
The operation of speed cameras on this section of Mount Mee Road are monitoring vehicle speeds in both directions.
The Queensland Camera Detected Offence Program utilises an evidence based mixture of covert and marked camera operations.
The use of unmarked mobile speed cameras is just one of a suite of measures employed by QPS aimed at reducing the state’s road toll. Recent research conducted by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) determined that a combination of both overt and covert mobile speed camera operations would produce the best results due to the strong effect covert cameras have on fatality crashes (as their unknown nature suppresses vehicle speeds across the network, thus reducing crash severity), combined with the substantial general effect overt cameras have on casualty crashes.
Results of a 2017 evaluation (also conducted by MUARC) estimated that the Camera Detected Offence Program (CDOP) was associated with an overall reduction in police reported casualty crashes of between 24 and 30 percent from 2013 and 2015. This represents an annual crash saving of 3,900 police reported crashes between 2013 and 2015, translating to annual savings to the community of around $1.6 billion per year. Over 98% of the savings associated with the program are attributed to the mobile speed camera program with its ‘anywhere, anytime’ philosophy.