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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 04-21-02, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Cameras merely revenue raisers: road safety pioneer

I bet this happens to hundreds of people every day the only reason this guy is upset is because it happened to his wife...

A FORMER NSW road safety bureaucrat has slammed governments for using speed cameras as revenue raisers after his wife was caught doing 9kmh over the speed limit on Northbourne Avenue at four o'clock in the morning.

Lex Stewart, who resigned from his position of NSW secretary of One Nation last year over concerns about the manner in which the party was being managed, described himself as ''one of the pioneers of road safety 'targeted enforcement' ''.

However, Mr Stewart said during his eight years as road safety manager in the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority's western region he used ''the enlightened techniques of human beings, not bloody cameras'' to cut the road toll.

''I used cost-effectiveness management techniques to ruthlessly prioritise where and when we, the police and RTA, spent time and money,'' he said.

''We achieved spectacular reductions in the road toll in those areas we targeted.''

He did not dispute that his wife was recorded by a speed camera driving at 69km/h on Northbourne Avenue just after 4am on February 27, while he was a passenger.

However, Mr Stewart said he paid the resulting fine under protest ''since it is evident that a camera booking someone for doing 69km/h on Northbourne Avenue at 4am in the morning with very low traffic flow and zero pedestrian activity has nothing to do with road safety but is pure revenue-raising'' .

Mr Stewart said the money and time that went into installing and maintaining speed cameras would be better spent on road safety programs.

He also said all the money raised by speed cameras should not be put into consolidated revenue but directed only to implementing road safety programs and boosting police numbers , saying a warning from a police officer to speeding drivers was more effective than a camera.

''It makes me angry that road users are dying unnecessarily because stupid politicians and gutless, fawning bureaucrats prefer revenue to genuinely reducing the road toll,'' Mr Stewart said.

ACT Police Minister Ted Quinlan said it was right for money from speed cameras to be put into consolidated revenue, saying funds should be used where they were needed and not channeled into one direction without question.

''Unfortunately, (speed cameras) can be described as revenue raisers but they are primarily used as a safety device,'' Mr Quinlan said.

''It's a sad fact of the human condition that some people, like this guy, need a deterrent that goes beyond the educative process and on some people, and I quite happily include those associated with One Nation, education is a waste of time and we do actually need some penalty process to remind people and make them behave.''

Mr Quinlan said the time of day was irrelevant when speeding was considered and it ''probably'' was dangerous for someone to be doing 69km/h at four in the morning.

''Because there is a high probability at that time of morning that other people on the roads will not be in control of their vehicle, they may have drunk a little too much or be a little tired, and it only takes two people to have a serious accident,'' he said.

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.

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