Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 28 September 2007


Call for speed cams ignored

Jordan Baker Chief Police Reporter


THE State Government has failed to act on a Roads and Traffic Authority report that calls for hidden mobile speed cameras, prompting accusations it has "lost its nerve" on speeding.

The report from 2005, obtained under freedom of information laws, found a trial of cameras in unmarked, RTA-operated cars reduced speeding among truck drivers. It recommended they be used in a new approach to speeding enforcement.

At the moment, the authority only operates fixed cameras, all of which are signposted. Police operate mobile cameras and radar, but safety guidelines strictly limit the sites where they can operate.

The road safety activist Harold Scruby said the Government's failure to act on the recommendations showed it was more worried about a backlash from motorists than community safety.

"The Government has lost its nerve in relation to speed enforcement, when their own trials have proven that this will slow motorists down, particularly truck drivers, and save lives," he said.

The authority's own survey from 2005 showed that more than half of heavy vehicles exceed the speed limit, especially late at night and in the early morning.

On average, 12 per cent of heavy truck drivers involved in a crash where someone was injured were speeding.

NSW advertises speed cameras at sites known for speeding so drivers slow down. Victoria uses covert cameras, which are designed to make motorists wary of speeding all the time.

But in the RTA trial of in-car mobile cameras two years ago, digital speed cameras were installed in unmarked cars including a Ford station wagon and a Subaru Forester.

The cameras moved around every two hours to ensure the locations were unpredictable. The aim of the trial - conducted over six months on the Hume and Pacific Highways - was to measure whether in-car cameras were useful in supplementing police enforcement. Thousands of trucks were clocked travelling faster than 100kmh along the Hume Highway.

© This work is copyright and is reproduced under licence from John Fairfax Holdings Limited

Sunday Morning Herald- Tuesday 28 August, 2007

Call for speed cam ignored

Jordan Baker
Chief Police Reporter
Page: 2
Section: General News
Region: Sydney Circulation. 212,500
Type: Capital City Daily
Size: 193.59 sq.cms.
© This work is copyright and is reproduced under licence from John Fairfax Holdings Limited