ADELAIDE - HALF the locations where mobile speed cameras were positioned across Adelaide in the past two years had 10 or fewer casualty crashes, figures show.
State government data provided to The Advertiser by Independent MP Bob Such has prompted claims police are only putting the cameras in areas to raise revenue, rather than improve road safety.
Police say mobile speed cameras are used to target speeding motorists - including those who are inattentive, high-risk or non-deliberate speeders - and that crashes are given a much greater weighting than any other factor when determining camera locations.
Of the 388 metropolitan mobile speed camera locations listed in The Advertiser from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2012, 192 locations - or 49.5 per cent - had 10 or fewer casualty crashes. A casualty crash is any crash where someone suffers an injury or is killed.
Mr Such said police were targeting unfortunate drivers by taking advantage of poor road signage and placing mobile speed cameras in areas where speed limits were not consistent.
"A lot of these (mobile speed) cameras are really a form of entrapment. They are designed and placed where people who are not deliberate speedsters, who are not a threat to anyone, are being caught with very heavy penalties," he said.
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THE proposed privatisation of Queensland's speed camera operations could generate even more tickets and increase the problem of motorists palming off fines to fake identities.
The State Government is soon expected to announce changes to the Camera Detected Offence Program, taking responsibility for their operation away from police.
In Victoria, a private company manages speed and red light cameras which has resulted in record numbers of fines being issued.
In the last year, 1.34 million speeding tickets were issued in Victoria, or 3671 a day, 81 per cent more than in Queensland.
The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed how high speed offenders are exploiting a weakness in the camera detected offences program to keep their licences.
Daily more than 1300 fines are issued to motorists caught on cameras, of which almost a third are blamed on someone other than the vehicle owner.
Spain deploys speed camera helicopter while France begins using a roving speed camera car.
Struggling European economies are investing big money in stealth speed camera technology designed to mail tickets to motorists who have no way of knowing they are being watched. Eurozone economies have been shrinking, with both France and Spain under heightened scrutiny for failure to meet deficit reduction targets set by the European Union. Ratings agency Standard and Poor's called the situation in Spain and France "socially explosive" in a statement to Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung. Both countries are now deploying the next generation of speed cameras.
On Thursday, Spain's Direccion General de Trafico (DGT) announced it was deploying "Pegasus," a speed camera-equipped helicopter that would begin issuing tickets by Easter weekend. A Wescam MX15 camera is mounted on the side of the helicopter that claims to accurately measure speed while flying at an altitude of 1000 feet and up to a kilometer (.6 miles) from a target vehicle traveling a maximum of 220 MPH. Once locked on, the system takes a speed reading every three seconds and produces a final speed by averaging results over nine seconds.
The telephoto lens can also film drivers and passengers, opening the possibility of additional tickets for mobile phone users and other surveillance uses. The government agency had announced the program six years ago, but deployment was put on hold pending certification of the speed measurement capabilities by the Ministry of Interior's labs at the Centro Espanol de Metrologia.
France embraced the same concept of surprise with a much more cost-effective, ground-based roving speed camera. Instead of taking to the air, a radar antenna is hidden behind the license plate of a Renault Megane that is intended to blend in with ordinary traffic and issue citations while moving on the highway. The French government began deploying twenty of the moving speed camera cars across 18 departments on March 15, less than a month after receiving type approval of the technology from a government agency. Deployments have begun in: Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches du Rhone, Calvados, Essonne, Gironde, Haute-Garonne, Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Paris, Pyrenees-Orientales, Rhone, Somme and Vaucluse.
The system uses a "Gatso Millia" K-band radar that claims to be able to automatically photograph and ticket any vehicle traveling 12 MPH faster than the speed camera car. An on-board GPS unit attaches the location to the ticket so that the jurisdiction and speed limit can be verified. The system uses an infrared flash invisible to motorists to avoid detection.
A copy of the DGT announcement is available in a 260k PDF file at the source link below.
Police in most states are making use of high resolution video cameras linked to ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) mobile computers which in turn are linked to police licensing databases via moblie internet services. No longer are drivers required to put licence stickers on vehicle window, because they are not obsolete.
French agency grants type approval to a car-mounted speed camera that issues tickets while driving.
Soon the car behind you on the freeway might be carrying a speed camera. The "Gatso Millia" moving photo radar system is installed in an inconspicuous sedan in the hopes of catching nearby motorists by surprise, photographing them on the highway unaware of what happened until a citation appears in the mail weeks later. The reference laboratory LNE (Laboratoire national de metrologie et d'essais) granted type approval to the device on Monday, certifying it as fit for use on French roads.
Conventional photo enforcement devices monitor traffic while stationary. Even "mobile" photo radar vans stop on the side of the road when issuing citations. As a result, most drivers slam on the brakes before approaching a known speed camera site, only to speed up after passing the device in order to make up for the lost time. The new system is meant to create roving speed traps that even careful drivers would find difficult to avoid. Police have had dashcam systems combined with radar that provide speed readouts of target vehicles while moving, but this is the first system designed to operate in a fully automated mode.
"The modular components of this configuration are built into the car so that it can be operated in an ergonomic way," the Gatso Millia brochure explains. "One of the major advantages is that the appearance of the vehicle is not affected. For enforcement in both directions, the in-car solution can be incorporated both in the front and/or the rear of the car."
Gatso Millia uses an ordinary K-band doppler radar antenna and flash module installed on the front or rear bumper of the automobile. Batteries, the flash generator and the computer module are installed in the trunk.
The certification noted a number of limitations with the technology: The device is configured to issue a ticket only if the target vehicle is driving 20km/h (12 MPH) faster than the camera vehicle; the camera does not function in extreme temperatures of -4 degrees Fahrenheit; and it cannot work on a road more than four lanes wide.
The system claims to read speeds between 12 MPH and 155 MPH. A GPS unit adds geographic coordinates to the citation photograph and video so that the authorities can verify the alleged speeding took place within a particular jurisdiction. The only human intervention needed is to have the speed camera driver enter the correct speed limit.
Based in The Netherlands, Gatso supplies speed cameras to many of the photo ticketing firms that operate in the United States. Gatso first began making automated ticketing machines more than fifty years ago.
VICTORIA Police will today unveil its latest weapon in the fight to improve road safety - a prototype car that can detect unregistered vehicles and unlicensed drivers while on the move.
Dubbed BlueNet, the patrol car has cameras mounted on the outside of the vehicle that can scan number plates and immediately alert police inside to any “vehicles of interest.”
The vehicle – revealed this afternoon at the launch of Operation Break Up – has been developed by Victoria Police and features the first fully integrated automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, in-car video and mobile data terminal in Australia.
“Integrating and mobilising these technologies will give police greater ability to detect and remove more high-risk and unauthorised drivers and unregistered vehicles from Victorian roads,” Victoria Police spokeswoman Cath Allen said.
“The prototype will be on the road as part of Operation Break Up over the coming weeks to assist police as they hone in on the main contributing factors to road trauma during the high-risk Christmas and New Year period - alcohol and drug driving, speed, fatigue and driver distraction,” she added.
Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill said the BlueNet vehicle was part of Victoria Police’s commitment to innovation and reducing road trauma.
“Mobile use of ANPR will enable the strategic targeting of high-risk unauthorised drivers, unregistered vehicles and high-risk areas rather than the standard method of static detection,” Mr Hill said.
The risks these motorists create for innocent road users is completely unacceptable.
“The way we have been using ANPR has been very successful, however advancements in technology have given us the opportunity to change the way we do business and hopefully see better road safety outcomes as a result."
The cameras will allow police to quickly conduct licence and vehicle checks from their car, to see if the intercepted vehicle is stolen and make criminal and background checks.
A video recording system will capture the process “providing increased safety for the police members and audio and visual corroboration of offences”.
“We know that unauthorised drivers create extra risks on our roads and are commonly over-represented in road trauma,” Mr Hill said.
“During Operation Raid, which finished last weekend, we detected 2634 unlicensed and disqualified drivers and 3191 unregistered vehicles in just 23 days.
“The risks these motorists create for innocent road users is completely unacceptable.
“I hope this new prototype will make these people stop and rethink their actions, because we will now be able to detect them anywhere, any time.”
He added summer was a critical time of year on the state’s roads.
“The Summer Stay campaign is all about encouraging people to think about their behaviour behind the wheel and making sure we all get to spend Christmas with our families this year.
“The BlueNet vehicle will be another tool we will have at our disposal over the coming months to continue our commitment to providing safer roads for all Victorians,” Mr Hill said.
The prototype will be the first of a number of vehicles expected to be fitted with this equipment to be deployed in 2013 as part of a small pilot program.
“The pilot will be subject to a full review and evaluation before any further rollout is considered,” Ms Allen said.
Operation Break Up will run across Victoria until December 23.Add a comment
LEAD-FOOTED Tassie drivers are on notice, with police upgrading their speed camera collection and rolling out another three speed trailers across the state.
With speed the number-one crash factor for fatal and serious injury smashes in 2011, Tasmania Police say their 10 new mobile laser cameras worth a total of $600,000 will significantly enhance their ability to catch offenders.
The State Government has funded the new cameras to replace the ageing fleet which was creating significant problems because of outdated technology. With the locally notorious speed camera trailer prototype deemed a great success by police after a multi-month trial in the south, police have had another three bigger, better and bolder high-visibility trailers built to house some of the speed cameras.
"The trailers will be deployed to the southern, northern and western districts," Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams said. "The mobile laser cameras will be deployed in the high-visibility trailers and also in staffed police vehicles."
The trailers cost the MAIB $42,000. The need for the trailers arose after budget cuts forced Tasmania Police to make their civilian speed camera operator crew redundant earlier this year, forcing police officers to spend their shifts babysitting roadside cameras.
Luckily for police, the MAIB has made a major financial contribution to Tasmania Police's traffic operations this year, buying five handheld speed detection units, eight in-car radar speed devices, 40 hand-held breath testing units and refurbishing four roadside vans.
But with the prototype trailer a target for vandals in recent months traffic Sergeant Penny Reardon is warning speed camera haters to stay away from the new-breed models.
"These trailers are equipped with infrared cameras at the front and back that are recording constantly with the images live-streamed to the police station," she said.
"There are further mechanisms in place to ensure they cannot be opened or towed away, so our advice is 'do not try it'."Add a comment
ALMOST 20,000 motorists were secretly snapped speeding past the Hume Freeway point-to-point cameras in a 60-day period when they thought they were still turned off. That number dropped by more than half for the 60-day period after motorists were warned the controversial cameras were working again.
All of the 19,280 motorists caught speeding in the two months before the cameras were officially turned on in August escaped being fined as the cameras were being tested - but the 9200 nabbed in the 60-day period since the testing finished would have to cough up.
Police Minister Peter Ryan said the Hume point-to-point figures clearly demonstrated that speed cameras slowed drivers.Of the 9200 fines issued, 5100 were for instantaneous offences and 4100 were for point-to-point offences.
Most (6382) were doing less than 10km/h over the limit, while 80 were speeding by more than 20km/h in a 110km/h zone.
The details on the successful deterrent effect of the Hume cameras come as Mr Ryan today stands alongside road accident survivors, including Paralympian Josh Hose, to launch a new state speed camera awareness campaign.
He is doing so in response to a 2011 recommendation by the Auditor-General that the State Government should promote the positive contribution speed cameras make to road safety.
The Hume point-to-point cameras, which measure the average speed of a vehicle over a stretch of road, were turned off in October 2010 after a hi-tech fault resulted in nine motorists being wrongly fined. Mr Ryan said the software problem had been fixed and cameras had been fitted with a secondary measuring device to ensure accuracy.
The Hume cameras can now also instantaneously detect speeding as motorists pass them as well as nabbing those who speed over a distance between the cameras. Motorists can be nabbed by instantaneous cameras at Epping, Craigieburn, Beveridge, Wallan and Broadford.
Mr Ryan yesterday said point-to-point cameras were very effective at deterring motorists from speeding over long distances.
"They discourage drivers from only slowing down to avoid detection at specific fixed camera locations," he explained.Add a comment
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