20 June 2019

No slowdown in mobile speed camera roll-out as report confirms they are lifesavers

| Lachlan Roberts
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The ACT Government handed out around 30,000 fines from the mobile speed vans last financial year. Photos: George Tsotsos.

The ACT Government will add two additional mobile speed cameras to their fleet in the coming months after an independent report into the ACT’s Road Safety program found that mobile speed cameras have saved more than $60 million in road trauma costs each year.

The detailed report by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre analysed 27 fixed speed cameras across the territory, two point-to-point speed cameras on Hindmarsh Drive and Athlon Drive – which have since been decommissioned – as well as 1,139 unique locations of mobile speed cameras.

The report said the ACT’s mobile speed camera program is “arguably the most important element of the ACT traffic camera program”, stating that it had reduced accidents by around 22 per cent between September 2016 and September 2017.

The report said that the mobile speed camera program had also prevented up to 120 casualty crashes that could have resulted in a fatality or injury, 2,900 property damage crashes and more than $60 million in crash costs in the space of those 12 months.

The view inside a mobile speed camera van.

The data also showed that over 80 per cent of crashes in the ACT occurred within 0.5 km of a site used at one or more times for mobile speed camera enforcement.

As a result of the strategic analysis, the ACT Government said it will add two additional mobile speed cameras to the roster in the next few months, which they believe will prevent an additional 11 casualty crashes and over 170 property crashes per year.

ACT Minister for Roads Shane Rattenbury said the overall objective of the mobile camera program is to create the perception of “anywhere, anytime” speed enforcement in the ACT to encourage motorist to obey speed limits.

“I am really pleased with the outcome because they show that speed camera programs are having a real impact on improving road safety in the ACT,” Mr Rattenbury said. “It has highlighted areas where we can continue to make improvements.

Mr Rattenbury said mobile speed cameras save lives, prevent crashes, and save millions of dollars.

“We are not saying that cameras are the only thing to keep roads safe but what this report does show us is that cameras do make a material difference and they are worth having out there.”

Mr Rattenbury hopes the report will show Canberrans there is a value in having mobile speed cameras.

“We see around 30,000 fines a year from the mobile speed vans and that generates around $10 million in revenue last financial year,” he said.

“What I can assure you is that the ACT Government spends far more than that on road safety programs from operating the cameras, to the money we put into having police on the road to enforce road rules and the various upgrades we make to address black spots and other safety hazards.

Mr Rattenbury released the findings of an evaluation of the ACT’s Road Safety Camera program today.

“I think it is important for the community to see the value in mobile speed cameras. There is cynicism sometimes around cameras and hopefully, people will see they have a significant impact on road safety.”

The evaluation into the speed camera program, which will take place every three years, also found that the fixed speed cameras and point-to-point camera system on Hindmarsh Drive had reduced reported crashes by 25 per cent.

The report said that the cameras on Hindmarsh Drive had prevented 69 reported crashes annually, including 13 by the point-to-point camera system between Yamba Drive and Dalrymple Street.

It is estimated that the speed cameras on the major arterial road in Canberra’s south had saved $1.3 million annually in crash costs to the ACT community, with the point-to-point camera saving $262,000.

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A lot of negativity about speed cameras. I invite any of you to spend a day working with me. I run the trauma operating theatre several days per month at Canberra Hospital and I see lives ruined by car crashes every one of those days. The 2 biggest contributors to this is alcohol and speed. I could, but won’t, go into the details of lives and families destroyed. Once you’ve seen the damage a car crash causes, often ongoing pain and surgery for weeks or even months, you might change your negative views. Anything that helps decrease the carnage has got to be good. Slow down!

Anyone else notice that these vans have an exemption from the laws about parking on nature strips and in tree root zones? And, they are now ramping up the use of camera vans to catch people parking in the very places the camera van operators prefer to park.

Wouldn’t it be more transparent if they parked in a visible spot, such as the concrete previously used for bus stops on recently abandoned routes? Obviously, marked police patrols would be a fantastic initiative but who would then attend crashes to collect the evidence?

HiddenDragon6:01 pm 21 Jun 19

Looking forward to an ACT Government website (in the interests of transparency, setting an example….blah blah blah etc.) which provides all the juicy details about any driving offences committed by our passionate-about-road-safety MLAs.

Money saved on crashes that haven’t happened sure is an interesting method of justifying speed cameras. Wouldn’t there be less fines and less revenue if we had all permanently changed our behaviour? That seems like the most direct measure?

Speed cameras are working really well = we need more speed cameras. Speed cameras aren’t working very well = we need more speed cameras.

Capital Retro8:23 am 21 Jun 19

“I don’t believe it. It’s fake science.”

Are you also seeing the point that the person who believes in this sophistry also believes in carbon dioxide induced climate change?

Cameras permanently mounted at STOP sign locations would raise more revenue than speed cameras. Many drivers don’t understand the meaning of “stop” vs “Give Way”.

Well this has to be the biggest load of made up nonsense I have seen in quite some time. How the conclusion that speed cameras did all that can be extrapolated from less accidents belongs in the childrens fiction section of a library. No other factors I guess. Nothing to do with newer, safer cars with things like stability control etc….

Nobody doubts the horror of what can happen in a crash. The issue is whether revenue cameras prevent that and they clearly don’t and aren’t even intended to. Sitting them on the side of the Majura Parkway isuing fines to people going 10k over the limit is not going to reduce road trauma but of course it takes in a huge amount of cash and that’s the goal.

This report takes no account of the massive improvements in vehicle safety in recent years and just throws a bunch of figures around to “prove” the efficacy of revenue cameras.

I want the road toll reduced too – and as someone who works with the results of car accidents you should be infuriated that the powers that be focus on doing more revenue raising instead of actually addressing the issue.

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