THE man who exposed rampant corruption in Victoria's racing industry is turning his sights on the state's controversial speed and red light camera system.
Former County Court judge Gordon Lewis will today be named Australia's first road safety camera commissioner.
His appointment means motorists who believe they have been wrongly snapped by dodgy cameras will at last have an independent body to complain to.
More than 1.3 million Victorian motorists paid just under $250 million in speed and red light camera fines in 2010-11.
It was Mr Lewis who produced a damning report in 2008 which revealed organised crime had infiltrated the racing industry, that racing had a culture of tolerating criminality and that it was "commonplace" for criminals to use the betting ring to launder money.
Camera issues Mr Lewis is expected to investigate include:
WHETHER faulty fixed speed cameras on EastLink have churned out thousands of dodgy fines.
WHETHER senior traffic cop Trevor Bergman was correct in his recent claim that 4343 motorists were wrongly booked by a mobile speed camera in Kingsclere Ave, Keysborough.
EXAMINING claims by hundreds of motorists that a malfunctioning red turning arrow at the notorious intersection of Nepean Highway and Bay Rd, Cheltenham, resulted in them being snapped and fined when they had done nothing wrong.
The appointment of Mr Lewis, who will start work in February, is part of Police Minister Peter Ryan's pledge to provide greater transparency and public accountability around Victoria's speed and red light camera network.
Mr Ryan said yesterday that Mr Lewis would have three full-time staff to help him review and assess the accuracy of speed and red light cameras at least every 12 months.
He said any motorist who felt they had been wronged could lodge a complaint with Mr Lewis, though it would not be his role to intervene in individual cases.
Mr Lewis also had the power to investigate and review any part of the traffic camera system and the Government could also ask him to probe specific problems.
"This is the first office of its kind to be established anywhere in Australia and motorists will be pleased to know they have a man of such integrity in charge of this significant new office," Mr Ryan said.
Mr Lewis is also a former deputy chairman of the Legal Professional Tribunal, a former commissioner of Corporate Affairs Victoria and a past executive director of the Law Institute of Victoria.
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