Geelong Advertiser - 8th Oct 2012
MOTORISTS are racking up more than $20,000 a day in speeding and red-light camera fines across the Geelong region. That's a rate of 100 tickets a day.
According to State Government data, close to $2 million in costs was accrued between April and June a total of 9867 fines.
The speed camera on the Avalon Rd bridge focusing on Melbourne-bound Princes Freeway traffic ranks top of the list: it was responsible for 2873 fines, worth $516,944. Speed cameras in Little River and Sparks Rd, Norlane, also made the region's top five earning cameras.
Geelong's top traffic cop, Senior Sergeant Shane Coles, said fixed speed cameras were vital to slowing people down and saving lives.
Of the Princes Freeway he said there were many cases of motorists travelling at "speeds of up to 120km/h over the limit on that road, and a high number who speed mainly 70km/h over the limit. We'd get one a week at that speed".
"It's disappointing we're still getting people travelling that sort of speed," he said.
Sen-Sgt Coles said mobile speed cameras, which moved each month, were put where there was thought to be a high risk of road trauma.
He said Anglesea and Barwon Heads Rd were of particular concern.
"We've also been running operations along the highway, and sat up the road from fixed speed cameras as people slow down for the fixed cameras before putting the foot down again," he said.
"This is still an offence."
But many locals on the Geelong Advertiser's Facebook page labelled the cameras revenue raisers.
"Revenue, revenue, revenue, that's all it is," Rick Lowe said. "I'm more deterred by seeing a police car on the side of the road."
Stephen Sennett said: "Speeding and running red lights does kill, and people need to get that through their heads. But when covert speed camera cars are placed at the 'gotcha' spots that just makes me think yep (sic), premier's next bonus, right there."
Chris McEwin disagreed:
"The number of people that deliberately run red lights in this town is downright atrocious."
Psychologist Zora Bradonjic, from Chris Mackey and Associates, said added work stress could affect motorists' ability to concentrate on the road.
"The stress or pressure of the work day causes people to lose a bit of focus as opposed to feeling more relaxed on the way home," she said.
"Also getting towards the end of the year, people can tend to feel a bit more tired and tend to put off going to work and leave that little bit later," she said.
"They then have to make up time and push the limits a little bit more."
Ms Bradonjic recommends drivers ensure they get sufficient rest and refocus on long drives.
VicRoads confirmed last week that the red-light camera at Fyans St and Moorabool St flashed amber for 3.5 seconds - instead of the recommended four seconds - from May 11, 2010, to August 24 this year.
VicRoads chief executive Gary Liddle said the Department of Justice was reviewing the fines, but refused to say what action might be taken.