The speed cameras along Northbourne enforcing the recently amended speed limit have been described as having a “perverse outcome” after concerns were raised by motorists about a lack of information about the changes.
One driver was fined seven times over a 10-day period in July. He will likely lose his licence and his job.
“Life has been a struggle through the COVID year and now this. I do not want to be unemployed but how will I get a job without a licence?” he said.
A second driver, a disability support pensioner who described herself as an overly cautious driver, was also fined $300, which she will struggle to pay with only $1.29 in savings.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly yesterday (3 August) on behalf of the two motorists, Shadow Transport Minister Mark Parton said the fact that the three Civic cameras were raking in $1.6 million a week in speeding fines were proof that the government’s information campaign alerting motorists to the change had failed.
Before the speed limits were lowered from 60 km/h to 40 km/h, the ACT’s most lucrative camera was northbound on the Monaro Highway at Hume. That camera brought in $1.2 million in the eight months to May, according to Mr Parton.
On a weekly basis, the three Civic cameras have raised 44 times the second most lucrative speeding camera location in the Territory.
A two week grace period where fines were not issued for breaches caught more than 20,000 speeding motorists, but they were not directly notified of their breaches.
Almost 1260 drivers were caught speeding on the first-day speed cameras in Civic were adjusted to issue fines at the start of July.
About 6100 fines, which start at $260 and range up to $1830, are being issued by the cameras weekly.
Motorists caught speeding by between 15 and 30 km/h face a $438 fine and incurred three demerit points.
Motorists were not warned if they had been caught during the two-week amnesty, drawing criticism from the NRMA.
Mr Parton echoed the NRMA’s concerns, saying there was little value in having a grace period when the Civic speed zones were lowered if motorists were not told about their breaches.
“Thousands of people have been fined and for the vast majority of those, there was no intent to break the law,” Mr Parton said.
“Irrespective of the signage and any information campaign, it is clear that that campaign did not work. This has been an extremely perverse outcome.”
Mr Parton said he would write to the relevant Minister about the plight of the motorists that contacted his office with concerns.