THE state's peak motoring body is demanding police deploy their new speed cameras in high-speed, high-risk areas instead of "revenue-raising" zones.
Tasmania Police's ageing camera collection was replaced earlier this week by 10 new cameras, worth $600,000 and funded by the State Government.
Three improved only-in-Tasmania speed camera trailers were commissioned at a cost of $42,000, allowing police to leave them unattended.
"The new cameras and trailers need to be deployed in higher-risk not higher-revenue areas," RACT spokesman Vince Taskunas said.
"New cameras and trailers wrongly deployed will lead to more cynicism in the community."Add a comment
Tasmania - Australia (The bit at the bottom of the Map) 19th Sept 2012
A computer problem is being blamed for a massive drop in the number of drivers being booked for speeding in Tasmania.
Tasmania Police says software used by speed cameras was not compatible with new software it installed in mid-June.
The number of tickets being issued from the state's speed cameras dropped from more than 2,000 a month to about 400 in July.
But Deputy Commissioner Scott Tilyard says it was when ticket numbers dropped to just 177 in August, police realised there was a problem with the data and decided not to make it public.
"There's no cover up at all ," he said.
"We saw that the detections were coming down, we weren't sure what it was but it wasn't until last week that we identified that the main reason was the technology."
Mr Tilyard says the problem is now fixed.
The Government will not provide details on exactly how much revenue the drop in speed camera fines has cost but it could be as much as $1.4 million every month.Add a comment
27th Aug 2012
SUBURBAN speed cameras are costing Tasmanian drivers tens of thousands of dollars as police target 50km/h zones.
The number of speed camera set-ups declined by 2000 in the last financial year, compared with the previous year, but monitoring of 50km/h zones has intensified.
An amnesty in place after speed limits were lowered in the South a year ago is over and RACT spokesman Vince Taskunas said drivers were struggling to adapt.
"It's costing them," Mr Taskunas said.
Camera numbers were increased in 50km/h areas but were halved in 60, 70, 80, and 90km/h zones last financial year. Police statistics for 2010-12 reveal 606 cameras were set up in 50km/h areas, catching nearly 8000 drivers.
In 110km/h zones, where most fatalities occur, there were 362 cameras, but only 278 in 80km/h zones. The RACT said people were feeling the pain.
"Our members are telling us they're being caught in 50km/h zones for very low-level speeding offences," Mr Taskunas said.
"We're talking about speed zones that have been lowered in the South by 10km/h in and around the city and the suburbs."
Low-level fines were particularly infuriating for many drivers, Mr Taskunas said, because they did not consider their speeds dangerous.
"The fact is speeding offences now carry a minimum of two demerit points, so P-platers caught a few kilometres over in a 50km/h zone twice, lose their licence," he said.
"We support high-visibility policing over cameras and the fact is a few kilometres does make a difference and drivers have to slow down and obey the law."
The figures show overall camera infringements are down by 30,000 from 2010-11.
Mr Taskunas said it was too soon to say what impact lower speed limits had had on road safety. Most serious crashes occur in 100km/h and 110km/h zones, but the South has recorded a spike in fatal crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists this year in urban areas.
The Police Association of Tasmania said budget cuts prompted police to change their approach to road safety policing.
Civilian camera operators were sacked earlier this year forcing police to leave cameras unattended on roadsides. This led to claims police were putting cameras close to stations to save time.
"Obviously the safety of the cameras has to be considered when determining where to put them," association president Randolph Wierenga said. "But at the end of the day if you don't like speeding fines, don't speed."Add a comment
By Edith Bevin
The union says there will be fewer cameras in rural areas where most serious crashes occur.
Tasmania's public sector union says the decision by the police department to sack its civilian speed camera operators will result in more road fatalities.
About 11 camera operators will be replaced by police officers due to budget cuts.
The Community and Public Sector Union says the extra workload on police will mean fewer cameras in rural areas, where most serious crashes occur.
Tasmania Police says speed cameras are only part of its road safety strategy and the move will save $800,000 a year.
Spokesman, Tom Lynch, says the economic reason for the decision does not even make sense.
"I understand the cost of operating the speed cameras right around the state in a full year is equivalent to what it costs for one fatal injury in the state and I'm sure the operation of speed cameras has saved multiple lives, avoided multiple crashes every single year," he said.
The Police Association says officers do not have the time and resources to man the cameras in the rural black-spots where they are most needed.
Acting president Robbie Dunn says it is also undesirable to leave the cameras running.
"Speed cameras are part of a strategy, the strategy has been extremely successful."
"We've got the lowest stats we've ever had. I wouldn't want to tinker with anything and now it is being tinkered with.
"I'd hate to say it but it could well lead to more accidents," he said.
Police will operate the cameras from next month.