The “WannaCry” ransomware virus that affected 110 Victorian speed cameras in June 2017 and disrupted organisations including the British National Health Service, Russian Interior Ministry and Deutsche Bahn railways did not corrupt speed and red-light fines, a report has found.
However, they were reinstated days later after the Victorian Road Safety Camera Commissioner’s preliminary eight-page report.
Now the Commissioner has released his final 60-page report and made recommendations to ensure the accuracy of the cameras and attempt to restore public faith.
He has called for a more “open and transparent” system in the Department of Justice and Regulation and SiteTrak; better firewalls against future viruses; and greater powers for his own office to investigate breaches.
“I recommend that the powers should include power to compel prompt thorough cooperation from within the Victorian public sector. Any behaviour inconsistent with the Victorian Public Service Code of Conduct should result in relevant consequences,” his report recommends.
Virus leaves no faith in system
It’s no consolation for the thousands of motorists who copped speed and red-light infringements recorded while the cameras were infected by the virus.
The findings will also do little to restore faith in a system that the Victorian Motorcycle Council says is “generally concerned with speed cameras that reverse the presumption of innocence”.
“We are concerned where you are guilty until proven innocent as is the case with speed cameras, especially if they are relying on a system that has been hacked,” spokesman John Eacott told us last year.
Victoria has had ongoing problems with its speed camera system including an incident in 2003 when a 1970s Datsun 120Y was booked at 158km/h on the ring road; a speed it was impossible for that old four-cylinder to reach.
“It took a massive publicity campaign to change the government’s dogmatic response that the speed camera system works. That’s happened a few times over the years,” John said.
“It is debatable that the whole speed camera system contributes anything to road safety since they are all in known locations where people slow down then speed up again.
“Our taxpayer dollars would be far better spent on properly teaching road users to drive carefully and responsibly.”
Does this report restore your faith in the accuracy of speed cameras? Leave your comments below.