Bourbon powered V8
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Canberra, Australia.
Speed & Red light Cameras - ACT style
The following article appeared in the local weekly paper - interesting reading, and perhaps the only government with the proper perspective on this issue! I tried scanning the article, but it was too big, so I've cut and pasted the text instead.
Life in the Fast lane not always Flash
By Andrew Kazar
TRAFFIC camera operators have a dangerous job. They are stationed in a van on the side of the road where cars roar past and aggression is often shown towards them. Traffic camera office manager Neil Bingham said the job was one of the most dangerous in the ACT Government.
"To be on the side of a road where 40 tonne trucks come past you at lOOkm/h is dangerous," Mr Bingham said. "Some vehicles that swerve at a defenceless operator sitting in the back of a van doing a job for the ACT Government is crazy, just crazy. If a person is going to show some sort of road rage, then their focus will be more on the van than on the road."
But the job also has its lighter moments. Maria Unsworth has been a camera operator since February and says it's quite common to see a
wife smacking her husband for being caught speeding while they're
driving. One driver, which camera operators have affectionately named "Damien Omen", was lucky to have been saved by a crow. The bird was perched on a fixed camera and as it took off, shadowed the number plate of the vehicle as it sped through a fixed camera site at the intersection of London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue last year.
Given the vans are publicly displayed, Ms Unsworth found it surprising that camera operators still caught people. Educating the public was the most challenging part of her job. "You do cop a fair bit of verbal abuse and gestures, but generally people do say that you're doing a good job," Ms Unsworth said.
Mr Bingham said about 50 per cent fewer infringements had been issued since the standardisation of four vans in the mobile camera fleet and the introduction of large signs on their roofs in August last year.
"The operators first thought that that was unfair, but they soon realised that people were generally slowing down right across the network of fixed and mobile cameras," Mr Bingham said.
The network comprises nine fixed cameras, which are a red light and speed camera in one, and four mobile cameras.
"Our overt operation has a better effect than a covert one," Mr Bingham said. "A covert operation might give you more infringements, but an overt one sends the message to your customers that you are fair dinkum about road safety, not about raising revenue. Its ironic that by us being overt we have some problems with aggressive people because we draw attention to ourselves, unlike other jurisdictions which operate
Where are they?
There are nine fixed camera devices located at the following intersections:
Barry Drive/Northbourne Avenue;
Yamba Drive/Hindmarsh Drives;
Drakeford Drive/Marconi Crescent/Boddington Crescent;
Hindmarsh Drive/Tuggeranong Parkway;
Northbourne Avenue/London Circuit;
Ginninderra Drive/Aikman Drive;
Ginninderra Drive/Coulter Drive;
Barry Drive/Marcus Clarke Street;
Northbourne Avenue/Mouat Street/Antill Street.
Caught On Film
• Last year speed camera vans checked the speeds of more than 2.3 million vehicles of which about 0.5 per cent, or more than 11,000 vehicles, were speeding.
• Fixed cameras checked 26.5 million vehicles last financial year.
• Following a red light "running" incident a traffic infringement notice is issued overnight except for weekends (processed on Monday).
• On average 80 speed and five red light infringements are issued per week per fixed camera site.
• The penalty in terms of fines and demerit points associated with fixed camera running is $211 and three demerit points (excluding double demerit periods).
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