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The Walking Class Heroes

Patrons: Dame Leonie Kramer AC DBE & The Hon Sir Laurence Street AC KCMG

 

MEDIA RELEASE 

Wednesday 31 July 2009 
 

NRMA Playing Politics With Road Safety

FoIs Prove WorkCover Restrictions Severely Limiting Enforcement

RACV Supports Covert Mobile Speed Cameras

The PCA has just received the results of its latest FoI regarding Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs) issued to motorists travelling in Transit Lanes in NSW, from 2004 to 2008 (inclusive).

The Chairman of the PCA, Harold Scruby, said today: “Since the death of Sen Const Peter Wilson in 2006, during a speed gun (Lidar) radar check, WorkCover has instructed NSW Police that they can only conduct roadside speed, DuI and transit lane enforcement operations in a very limited number of specific locations throughout the state.  
 
“This Transit Lane FoI now verifies the significant drop in TINs issued since the WorkCover guidelines came into force in mid 2007.  Revealing a 68% drop since 2006, police are only issuing about 6 TINs a day throughout the entire state.  The importance of this data is that it backs up the findings of the Schoolzone FoI we conducted in March this year, which discovered that police were also only able to operate their roadside Lidars in very limited locations.
 
“But what is most disconcerting is the NRMA’s voluble and misleading campaign against all speed cameras.  They continue to deny the irrefutable evidence that speed cameras are slowing motorists down and saving lives.  They robotically call for ‘high visibility policing’ knowing full-well that on its own, it’s a grossly inefficient, ineffective and costly system.  Mr Scruby said.
 
“Even as late as yesterday, an NRMA spokeswoman was quoted as saying: ‘the organisation supported highway patrol pulling people over because speed cameras failed to deter motorists from driving recklessly.’
 
Conversely, Mr Peter Daly, Chief Engineer, Traffic and Transport of the RACV (the NRMA’s Victorian counterpart) has formally advised the PCA that (see copy of email below):
 
“RACV believes that speed cameras are an important component in Victoria's speed management strategy.  Together with improved infrastructure, safer vehicles, road user education and enforcement measures to improve road user behaviour, speed cameras - fixed and mobile - have made a contribution to lowering Victoria's road toll ... RACV supports the use of covert (but not hidden) cameras, where appropriate and advocates that all approved camera sites, fixed and mobile, be disclosed to the public. ”
 
“Our March FoI verified that the Fixed Speed Cameras are working extremely well and are significantly reducing the number of motorists speeding in schoolzones.  In Term 3, 2007, there were only 50 fixed cameras operating which issued 63,235 fines.  By Term 4, 2008, there were 74 cameras operating which issued 33,740 fines.  In practically every location, the number of motorists booked for speeding in schoolzones has significantly decreased.
 
 
Mr Scruby said: “In spite of an extensive trial by the RTA in 2005, which successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of in-car, covert, digital speed cameras and in spite of the fact that NSW Police formally agreed over 2 years ago to hand over the mobile speed camera enforcement program to the RTA, NSW Police have allowed their initial stock of approximately 40 mobile speed cameras to dwindle to zero.  For reasons still unexplained, NSW is now the only state or territory where they are not in use.
 
“The above data prove that the only primary schools where there is any effective enforcement is at the 74 locations where the RTA has installed fixed speed cameras.  Police enforcement in the remaining 9,937 zones in NSW is virtually non-existent.  In 2008, the fixed cameras booked an average of 2,054 motorists per location.  In the same year, police only booked an average of 1.17 motorists in each of the remaining schoolzones.  Because of WorkCover restrictions and ancient technology, the chances of being booked by police in a NSW schoolzone are virtually nil.
 
“In a comprehensive study published in June 2003 by the highly respected Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), it was reported: ‘Following the full implementation of the mobile speed camera program (including supporting mass media publicity), statistically significant reductions in low alcohol hour casualty crashes were found across arterial roads in Melbourne and country towns and on rural highways. This demonstrates that, the intense, covert use of speed cameras can lead to long term reductions in low alcohol hour casualty crashes across a number of road types when accompanied by high-profile publicity.’”
 
“The Australian Transport Council’s National Road Safety Action Plan for 2007 & 2008 states:
‘There is evidence that improved speed management has made a major contribution to the overall improvement in road safety outcomes in Victoria.’
 
 Mr Scruby added: “These FoIs, the RACV’s practical experience and unambiguous support for speed cameras, along with the overwhelming independent evidence, prove beyond doubt that the NRMA is playing politics with the lives and limbs of the people of NSW.  72% of NSW drivers have no demerit points on their licences.  The burning question that NRMA members should be demanding answers to is why their organisation cares so much about the small minority of life-threatening, speeding drivers and cares so little about the safety of the vast majority of their law-abiding members.
 
“NSW Roads Minister, Michael Daley has stated he is keen to explore the use of covert mobile speed cameras.  His genuine efforts to reduce the sky-rocketing NSW Road Toll are being deliberately undermined by the NRMA, who refuse to provide any credible evidence to support their reprehensible and wanton behaviour.
 
“We therefore call upon Minister Daley to urgently replace the original 40 mobile speed cameras with a fleet of covert, digital, mobile cameras, with net revenue hypothecated to Road Safety programs.” Mr Scruby said.
 
Contact: Harold Scruby - (0418) 110-011
 
Copies of the FoIs and supporting documents are at:  www.walk.com.au
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter_Daly@racv.com.au [mailto:Peter_Daly@racv.com.au]
Sent: Monday 27 July 2009 2:48 PM
Subject: Re: RACV
 
Harold
 
Please see below.
 
As discussed, would you please provide us with the RACV’s position on covert speed cameras and in particular covert mobile speed cameras.
 
Do you believe they have assisted in reducing Victoria’s Road Toll?
 
RACV believes that speed cameras are an important component in Victoria's speed management strategy.  Together with improved infrastructure, safer vehicles, road user education and enforcement measures to improve road user behaviour, speed cameras - fixed and mobile - have made a contribution to lowering Victoria's road toll.
 
 
Are you opposed to them.
 
RACV does not oppose fixed and mobile speed cameras.  We do, however, advocate that all speed enforcement policies and practices be transparent to the public and founded on scientific principles.  RACV does not support the use of 'hidden cameras' - which we define as cameras which are deliberately camouflaged to fool the public - as we believe this may add to perceptions of revenue raising in the community, rather than reinforce the positive role of speed cameras as safety tools.  RACV supports the use of covert (but not hidden) cameras, where appropriate and advocates that all approved camera sites, fixed and mobile, be disclosed to the public.  We note that this is currently done in Victoria, through the Department of Justice web site.
 
Do you believe that High Visibility Policing is an efficient and effective way to manage Road Safety. 
 
RACV supports a visible police presence as part of a strategy which includes both covert and overt enforcement policy and practice.  While recognising that overt enforcement is not always practical (and potentially unsafe to police and the public) in some situations, we encourage governments to maintain a high public profile for enforcement activities, including the use of marked vehicles, bicycle and foot patrols for traffic enforcement.
 
Or do you believe it needs to be in conjunction with an integrated system of fixed and mobile speed cameras.

RACV believes that a visible police presence forms a necessary component of an integrated traffic enforcement program as described above.

 Finally, are you aware how many fixed and mobile speed cameras are operating in Victoria.
 
RACV refers you to http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/camerascutcrashes/ for this information, as the website states (27/7/09 @ 14:30) that it is currently being updated with new information on speed cameras, following a recent State Government announcement to increase camera numbers.
 
All the best
Peter
 
Peter Daly
Chief Engineer Traffic and Transport
RACV
 
 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FOI 09-074 Penalty Notices issued under Offence code 3043 - 'Drive in Transit Lane'  2004 to 2008