Speeding fines slump in Vic
... But only thanks to the speed camera shutdown.....
Speed fines slump
By Tanya Giles
May 5, 2004
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POLICE in Victoria issued 928,000 fewer speeding fines than expected this financial year, leading to a drop of $194 million in revenue destined for State Government coffers.
Treasurer John Brumby said yesterday the massive fall in revenue was due in part to the freeze on speeding tickets caught up in the troubled fixed-camera network.
But the main reason for the drop was a big reduction in motorists fined for errant driving.
Last year the Government estimated police fines would rake in $427.5 million in 2003-04. The figure was now $233.5 million.
But revenue from fines is expected to rise again next financial year to $350.5 million when the fixed cameras are put back on line and new hi-tech red light speed cameras are activated. Mr Brumby yesterday said no new cameras would be installed on Victorian roads to make up for the shortfall this financial year.
"There is no secret plan," he said.
In total, police were forecast to hand out 2.25 million speeding fines in 2003-04. It is now expected they will issue about 1.32 million fines.
Next financial year, the number of fines issued to rogue drivers is expected to rise to 1.85 million.
A further 500,000 CityLink fines are expected to be issued.
Police Minister Andre Haermeyer said the drop in speeding fine revenue showed motorists were heeding safety messages and slowing down. "There has been a culture change in relation to speed," Mr Haermeyer said.
Budget papers also revealed last year's controversial move to link hundreds of fees and fines to inflation helped boost revenue to an expected total of $617 million for 2004-05.
This is expected to increase to $656.4 million the following year.
Taxes on vehicle registration are expected to leap by $100 million because of indexation, an increase in the number of vehicles registered and the axing of free car rego for concession card holders. The Metropolitan Parks Charge for commercial and residential properties in greater Melbourne was also added to the fees and levies linked to inflation from July 1 this year.