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Here come the point to point cameras

By johnboy - 23 September 2010 194

[First filed: Sep 21, 2010 @ 10:01]

report cover

I get a little confused about dates sometimes. But I’ve checked the calendar and it confirms today is indeed Tuesday 21 September 2010.

So I’m not quite sure what it means when TAMS says this on its website:

On Thursday 21 September 2010 the ACT Government announced that the ACT’s first point-to-point speed cameras would be installed on Hindmarsh Drive, to be operational by mid next year.

The forward design study is available and says the cameras are also good for:

    – fixed speed offences;
    – bus lane enforcement;
    – unregistered and uninsured vehicles;
    – unlicensed drivers;
    – providing traffic data to a Traffic Management Centre (TMC);
    – Road User pricing;
    – identifying vehicles associated with crime; and
    – mass surveillance.

That last might have perked some of you up. Here’s what the study has to say on mass surveillance:

P2P systems have the potential to provide data for mass surveillance applications. This application is distinguished from the Non-traffic Related Offences application described above as it is not based on the use of hotlists to define vehicles of interest. Rather it stores data (either vehicle registration and timestamp, or vehicle registration, image, and timestamp) for all vehicles passing the camera and makes it available for future interrogation.

Maybe we just have to get used to them watching our every move?

UPDATE: Mr Stanhope has now put up a media release wherein he explains why this is good for us:

“The ACT will be one of the first jurisdictions to use a network of point-to-point road safety cameras in an urban area. Ultimately, the cameras will monitor stretches of roads, entry and exit points to roads, and check for unregistered, stolen or other vehicles of interest to police using number plate recognition technology.

“The cameras are part of a suite of ACT Government measures designed to challenge the culture of speeding on Canberra’s roads, reduce road trauma and save lives.”

What’s Your opinion?

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194 Responses to
Here come the point to point cameras
niftydog 12:01 pm 21 Sep 10

If the software used in this system is bamboozled by someone changing lanes or the imaging system melts down when subjected to a piffling laser then I’d suggest we should all be outraged that our money would be spent on such a ridiculously shonky system.

fozzy 12:00 pm 21 Sep 10

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those willing to sacrifice liberty in the name of security, deserve neither security or liberty”.

I’m not so concerned with the further checking of speed limits, even though as many here have noted, it’s about revenue raising not safety. However, mass surveillance is a great concern.

One of the biggest problems with systems such as this the feature creep.

shadow boxer 11:49 am 21 Sep 10

colourful sydney racing identity said :

shadow boxer said :

Make the speed limits reasonable and people will stop speeding.

Brilliant. Legalising the killing of anyone who ticks you off will drastically reduce the murder rates.

“rolls eyes” even more brilliant, ban cars and no-one will get killed.

At the end of the day people will travel at what they consider a fair and reasonable speed for the conditions, unfortunately speed limits are going down and making no allowance for improvements in car braking, visibility, handling and safety features over the past 40 years. This is mainly because those consultants in the car safety industry need to justify their existence and don’t want to tackle the big issues (divided roads, better training, increasing the driving age).

Just out of interest what was the speed limt 40 years ago ?

Amanda Hugankis 11:45 am 21 Sep 10

Time to dust my Delorian off …

Solidarity 11:38 am 21 Sep 10

I wonder how many people will not realise they have been over the limit until just before the second camera, then pull up to a crawl just before the second one, impeding traffic flow.


They trialed this in the UK with Gatso’s, trial ended due to them being vandalised too much. One can only hope…

shadow boxer 11:29 am 21 Sep 10

I only caught the end of it so happy to be corrected but yes the lane change(s) threw out the maths.

I think a lot of the fixed cameras also only point at one particular lane

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:24 am 21 Sep 10

I caught the end of a top gear episode

I know what that’s like. I remember this one time I sat down to watch, but then Dad asked me to move the Camira to get the Torana out so he could get to the Commodore, but I lost the keys to the Cortina and then I almost scratched the boat!

colourful sydney rac 11:21 am 21 Sep 10

shadow boxer said :

Make the speed limits reasonable and people will stop speeding.

Brilliant. Legalising the killing of anyone who ticks you off will drastically reduce the murder rates.

p1 11:10 am 21 Sep 10

shadow boxer said :

I caught the end of a top gear episode where they were talking about the fixed speed cameras and apparently the trick is to be in a different lane when you go through the second one.

Is this because changing lanes also causes a shift in time? The explains why some people change lanes so often.

The mass surveillance part interests me also. Will be interested to know the finer details about what is recorded, how long they retain it for and who will be able to access it.

Also of interest might be the form the data is kept in. For example, will the data be automatically matched with rego records, so they can get an idea of how many people from which town centre go where? Or whether a larger proportion of young people work a larger distance from home? Will police be able to use that data to identify people with “suspicious” patterns of behaviour (as opposed to checking the behaviour of someone already suspected of something)?

ConanOfCooma 11:04 am 21 Sep 10

They have a set on the Monaro Hwy now as well, between Bredbo and Cooma.

At the moment they are non-functional, and the RTA pinky-promises that they will only be used to ping trucks.

Come 2011…

Deano 11:04 am 21 Sep 10

From the report:

Potentially, the ANPR cameras used in a P2P system could, in the future, be used to support road tolling, road user charging, and congestion charging schemes.

Let me translate that:

Inevitably, the ANPR cameras used in a P2P system will, when the budget next needs a boost, be used to support road tolling, road user charging, and congestion charging schemes.

shadow boxer 10:31 am 21 Sep 10

Make the speed limits reasonable and people will stop speeding, if people think the law is an ass they will treat it as such. A modern car is quite capable of doing 10-20 above the current limits perectly safely. Most reasonable people believe that and behave accordingly.

I caught the end of a top gear episode where they were talking about the fixed speed cameras and apparently the trick is to be in a different lane when you go through the second one.

Sgt.Bungers 10:26 am 21 Sep 10

I find the nominated potential sites interesting. They’re all 80,90 and 100km/h zones that where the speed limit is regularly exceeded by many. Instead of looking into WHY the limit is being exceeded on a regular basis, the gubbinment is choosing to may people pay money for the privelidge of doing so. Is this what traffic enforcement has become?

There are many, many residential streets where idiots regularly exceed 50km/h by vast amounts… but not enough idiots for the cameras to be profitable, it would seem.

Interesting in particular is the choice of the eastern end of Hindmarsh drive. From Yamba drive to Monaro highway… 3 interesections are actively controlled by traffic lights, 2 are passively controlled. There are 2-3 lanes in each direction. There is a median strip seperating traffic. No bus stops. The speed limit is 80km/h… this is where the plan is to put cameras.

Interestingly enough… the above scenario is very similar to the 90km/h William Hovell Drive… why isn’t this section of Hindmarsh also eligable for a higher speed limit?

I’ve digressed.

The western end of Hindmarsh drive between Streeton Dr and Darwinia Tce has one lane in each direction, no median strip (no refuge for pedestrians), 4 passively controlled intersections, no traffic lights, bus stops, passes within closer to proximity to houses… speed limit is still 80km/h.

Same situation applies on Coulter drive between William Hovell and Belconnen Way… 80km/h speed limit, 3 passive intersections, no refuge, bus stops…

Surely it would be far more dangerous to exceed 80km/h on the two latter sections of road. Yet we’re going to be permanently enforcing the road where it could be argued that a higher speed limit is well warranted?

Why is this?

Question Everything.

PBO 10:25 am 21 Sep 10

One has to wonder what the effect of +20mw laser pointer would have on these cameras.

nhand42 10:19 am 21 Sep 10

Not happy about the mass surveillance, but very happy about the point-to-point speeding detection. I’m sick to death of bogans who think they’re being clever when they speed between cameras and slam the brakes on just before passing through them. Any authoritarian abuses brought about by these cameras are squarely on their mullet bearing heads.

Bogans, ruining society since forever.

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