Red light cameras

mudge-python 7 January 2008 30

Received this via email this morning, not sure how reliable it is maybe some rioters with inside knowledge can confirm….

“Canberra Ave and Hindmarsh Drive intersection has been fitted with Red light and Speed “loop” detectors, these are a new type of red light and speed camera, they detect how much time it has taken your car to travel from point A (first sensor) to point B (second sensor) instead of using radar, therefore they are extremely accurate.
They are implanted under the road surface and are completely undetectable, they are also only 300 mm in front of the white stop line at these lights, so if you over shoot the line even by less than half a car length you will be charged, even though you didnt proceed through the lights.

These are also installed at the north bound intersection of Canberra Ave and Captain Cook cres in Manuka.

These will apparently replace all existing speed and red light camera’s in the ACT within the next few years… ”


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PK PK 9:59 pm 15 May 08

Also…

Many people think that the sensors that are in the road at traffic lights (either before the line to detect that a car is waiting and hence trigger the light to change, or after the line to take a photo if you run the red) are pressure sensors. The truth, however, is that they are actually metal detectors. This is to prevent the lights from changing if someone say walks across it, etc. If you don’t believe me, simply take a 30cm x 30cm piece of cardboard, cover it with a few sheets of tin foil, and place it over the corner of one of these rectangular sensors. I guarantee that after a few seconds the lights will change and give your “lane” a green light as it thinks that there is metal above it – ie, a car.

We used to use the same trick when we wanted to use a private car park with a boom gate that had one of these sensors on the other side. As a car from inside the carpark went over the sensor, the gate would automatically open for them to let them out. We simply used to drive to the entrance, walk around to the other side of the boom gate, place our tin foil covered cardboard on the ground, and hey presto, the gate would open and we would use the car park.

So…here is some fun that you can have with these expensive new red light cameras…

1. Go to Metal Mart (or somewhere similar) and purchase two reasonable think or weighty flat sheets of metal, around 30x30cm.
2. Go to Bunnings and purchase a tube of Liquid Nails.
3. Go to an intersection where these red light cameras are one night while no one is around, and put glue on one side of each piece of metal sheet that you purchased in step one.
4. There will be two sensors ahead of the white line. Place one sheet of the metal on a corner of one of the sensors, glue side down.
5. Do the same to the second sensor slightly further up the road.
6. Make sure that your back is always to the camera, and that your car is not in view in case the camera goes off while you are doing this.

When the light turns red, the camera will sense that there is metal above each of its two sensors, hence triggering the camera. The photo will be taken each time the light turns red.

Now we can have some over paid public servant go through countless numbers of false alarms… and if someone finds these things and trys to remove them, they will need a crowbar as they are glued down.

Fun just for the inconvenience and “up yours” message to send to our toy government…

PK PK 9:46 pm 15 May 08

Just out of interest, has anyone actually been booked by one of the fixed speed cameras that have been installed on the Monaro Highway (either at Hume or near Isabella Drive)? The reason I ask this is that at other speed camera sites, as you go past the camera itself you can actually see the sensors that have been installed in the road itself which are the things that detect what speed you are actually doing. Neither of the ones I see on the Monaro Highway have these sensors, so I am thinking that they are either ones that use a different method to detect speed (eg radar), or…. are they dummy units just designed to make people slow down???

Secondly, I saw on the Barton Highway just near the GDE overpass that there is a camera in both directions. BUT… have a close look at these cameras. In the direction where you are going away from Canberra, there is a flash unit and a camera unit as expected. However, on the side of the road coming into Canberra, there is a flash unit only, but no camera unit – it is actually facing the other way to get people leaving Canberra. And, do these have sensors in the road? How can the unit take a photo of you as you approach Canberra if the camera is facing the other way?

The ones on the Parkway definitely have the sensors because you can see then, but at the other sites I mention, definitely not!

Just interested…

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 10:41 pm 11 Aug 07

Apparently the new cameras on the Federal Highway, Tuggers Parkway and Gungahlin/Gundaroo Drive (is there any more?) aren’t actually in operation yet but will be on Monday 12/8/07.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 9:30 pm 03 Aug 07

I noticed today there are small “Speed Camera Ahead” signs on the Federal Highway about 100m before the actual speed camera (which is still facing the hotel/servo). They are not the usual large signs, these ones are quite small in comparison. Maybe the govt are hoping motorists won’t see them and continue to $peed.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 10:58 am 27 Jul 07

What I can’t believe is that people actually took notice of that email. It was obviously bullshit as most viral emails are. How long has email been around and people still haven’t worked that out. Stoopid.

Battle_Kath Battle_Kath 9:58 am 27 Jul 07

The viral emails were incorrect. The speed and red light cameras will all be signposted and work exactly like all the others already in place.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 10:06 pm 26 Jul 07

There was a brief article on the the local (WIN?) TV news tonight about this, apparently it is legit. Still reckon viral marketing is an odd way for the Govt to notify people of new/changed Speed Cameras – though probably no more odd than John Howard being on YouTube or other pollies being on Myspace.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 10:12 pm 17 Jul 07

There’s another new fixed speed camera on the Federal Highway at Watson just before the roundabout adjacent to the Formule One Hotel and the Caltex servo. It is about 20m into the 80km/h zone facing downhill back to Canberra. There are no signs saying there is a speed camera there, just a sign a bit further up the road saying “Speed Cameras Used In ACT”.

Seems an odd spot to have a camera. There’s no way you are going to be doing more than 80km/h there unless you are Michael Schumacher in a Formula One Ferrari as you need to slow down to negotiate the roundabout. Admittedly there are plenty of people running off to the left as you exit the roundabout, especially in the wet, but there’s still no way you would be doing more than 80km/h.

Maybe the camera is to pick out drivers coming the other way, from Canberra heading out of town?

Maelinar Maelinar 12:35 pm 17 Jul 07

Just run your damn car into the rear end of the camera van.

To really stack the odds in your favour, smoke some dope beforehand and blame the accident on your tortured upbringing and anybody else.

To REALLY make it a grand plan, be on the run from the coppers at the time you do it.

Maximum punishment in the ACT: a couple of weeks Periodic Detention.

jenpen jenpen 9:57 am 17 Jul 07

Sorry, these last two posts weren’t posted by jenpen – but her flatmate who neglected to logout and login as “brewbloke”. sorry 🙁

jenpen jenpen 9:54 am 17 Jul 07

The Hindmarsh Drive/Canberra Avenue lights have apparently been there for a while.

They work no differently/secretly/specially etc to the ones throughout the rest of the ACT (ie: Northbourne Ave/Antill St – where I have been done twice!!! this year for speeding – to get through an amber light on the way home from Sydney, I just gotta relax more when I get into the ACT!)

From:

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/move/roads/road_safety/speedandspeeding/red_light_cameras#how_do_the_cameras_work?

“Find information about Red light cameras in the ACT and how to pay a red light camera fine.

Where will the cameras be used?
Why do we need the cameras?
How do the cameras work?
What should I do when the traffic lights change to amber?
What happens if my vehicle is photographed?

As part of a range of measures to make our roads safer, the ACT began introducing red light cameras in December 2000.

The cameras selected for the ACT are capable of detecting both red light and speeding offences, and are designed to operate 24 hours a day in all lighting conditions.

Where will the cameras be used?
The cameras are being progressively introduced at intersections with a history of serious crashes, which is the sole criterion for selecting red light camera locations. Cameras have so far been installed at the following intersections:

Northbourne Avenue, Barry Drive and Cooyong Street, Civic
Drakeford Drive and Marconi Crescent, Kambah
Ginninderra Drive and Coulter Drive, Belconnen
Ginninderra Drive and Aikman Drive, Belconnen
Barry Drive and Marcus Clarke Street, Civic
Hindmarsh Drive/Tuggeranong Parkway, Woden
Hindmarsh Drive/Yamba Drive, Woden
Northbourne Avenue/Mouat Street/Antill Street, Dickson
Northbourne Avenue/London Circuit, Civic
Hindmarsh Drive/Ball Street, Woden
Canberra Avenue/Hindmarsh Drive, Fyshwick

Signs alerting motorists to the presence of the cameras have been placed on the approaches to the intersections.

Work is underway to install red light/speed cameras at the following sites:

Gungahlin Drive/Gundaroo Road, Gingahlin
Canberra Avenue/Captain Cook Crescent, Manuka Circle
These are expected to be operational mid 2007.

Why do we need the cameras?
About 15% of road casualties in the ACT, involving around 65 people a year, occurs at traffic lights, often as a result of motorists running red lights.

Recent red light camera trials in Canberra found there was also a high incidence of speeding through traffic lights, while some vehicles were detected both speeding and running red lights at the same time.

Crashes at intersections generally involve a side impact collision with a consequent high risk of serious injury or death. The higher the speed, the greater the risk.

Interstate experience shows that red light cameras typically reduce the number of serious right-angle crashes by about 40%. Speed cameras have also proved to be an effective deterrent to speeding.

How do the cameras work?
The cameras used in the ACT are fully-automated, all-digital systems incorporating the most sophisticated technology of its type.

Sensors embedded in the road detect the presence of vehicles at the intersection. If a vehicle proceeds against a red light, a signal is sent to the camera, which then takes a series of colour photographs of its passage through the intersection. The vehicle is identified by its number plate.

The same system also calculates the speed of vehicles at the intersection and activates the camera if the pre-set limit is exceeded. This occurs regardless of whether the traffic lights are green, red or amber.

The system is able to detect red light and speeding offences that occur simultaneously. Vehicles that are speeding and running red lights at the same time can incur infringement notices for both offences.

The images and infringement details, including the time and location, are digitally recorded on a disk or another storage medium for electronic data ( a recording medium).

What should I do when the traffic lights change to amber?
The amber light is a warning that the traffic signal is about to turn red and you must stop unless you are too close to the intersection to pull up safely. There is no need for panic braking, which could result in someone running into the back of your vehicle, or for accelerating over the speed limit.

Motorists are reminded that they are required to maintain a sufficient distance from the vehicle ahead to enable them to avoid a collision should it stop unexpectedly. Road safety experts recommend you keep a gap of at least three seconds between your vehicle and the one in front.

What happens if my vehicle is photographed?
If you are identified as a registered operator of a vehicle detected by a camera for running a red light or exceeding the speed limit, you will receive an infringement notice in the mail, usually within about four working days of the offence.

As with other traffic infringement notices, you have 28 days to either pay the fine or take some other action.

Anyone issued with an infringement notice for a camera detected offence can examine the image produced by the camera, and can obtain a free copy.

If desired, a camera image can be viewed at:

1st Floor Counter, 13-15 Challis Street, Dickson ACT 2602

If you have any further questions about red light or speed cameras, please contact the Traffic Camera Office, telephone (02) 6207 7182 .

For information about how to dispute a traffic infringement notice, see ACT Policing – Paying Traffic Fines “

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 11:08 am 16 Jul 07

I think JTK you’re kidding yourself at 10 per day. I’m thinking triple figures at least.

What concerns me about all this is the absolute dearth of speed advisory signs throughout the ACT. And when there actually are some, they are right at an intersection when you are busy merging/not crashing/etc, but never where you need them. So you are left thinking “could be 100, could be 80 – maybe split the difference?” It’s not like you can base your decision on the speed others around you like JTK are doing…

With the ACT budgetted income from speed cameras jumping from $12M to $20.5M according to 666 this morning, surely $500K could be found for tripling the number of speed signs out there??

PS: after turning out of Mitchell onto Gungahlin Drive last Wednesday night, drove past a mobile camera van – 200m BEFORE the speed sign…stinks.

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 9:39 am 16 Jul 07

Nice straight stretch – Great revenue raising potential. (Remember that these cameras cost hundreds of thousands of dollars)

From a taxpayers perspective, I am saddened that the government chose to use induction loops – They are easily damaged, and once damaged, they don’t sense cars any more.

All it takes is a battery powered drill, and a 12 inch long drill bit like you might find in Bunnings in Belconnen for about $30.00. Probably likely to happen, given the isolated location of the cameras.

Radar or Infrared is much more robust.

But, at approximately $200,000 each, and with fines ranging from $130 – $200 or so dollars – It will take around 1000 fines to pay for the infrastructure (assuming the sensors keep working)

If it collects 10 people per day (conservatively), that would be 3650 fines per year – Quite a great little money spinner if you ask me…

Wo Hoo!

Thumper Thumper 9:18 am 16 Jul 07

Genie,

they were only putting it in on Saturday morning.

Now, I’d like to hear an explanation as to why that speed camera is there.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an accident there and it’s not a blackspot, therefore the camera is not making roads safer.

Whatever could be the reason it is where it is?

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 9:06 am 16 Jul 07

BD48 – “One 500m section of the Parkway will now be 100km/hr the rest will still be travelled at about 120km/hr+ lol”

Probably doesn’t take that much distance. – This morning, I was hooting down the parkway at my usual 140Km/h, and tramped the brakes to drop me down to the statutory 100 at the camera. Then, back onto the accelerator and up to 140 again.

It’s great that they chose induction loops in the road – You know exactly where the speed is sensed from. None of the worry about where that radar or infrared laser is pointed…

Was kind of fun really!!

So – Yet again – the ACT Government wastes money.

Genie Genie 10:02 pm 14 Jul 07

I noticed that speed camera tonight on the parkway – feel sorry for the guy in front of me if it is turned on – he was doing at least 150k’s. Drove past me like i was standing still!

Although i’d like to think its not quite on yet – dont they have to legally put up signs informing drivers that they are there ???

J Dawg J Dawg 3:54 pm 14 Jul 07

Despite all of this wonderful technology, I can’t help but wonder whether some more marked police presence on our roads wouldn’t be a more effective and desirable solution.

Of course that would be a better solution. But then it would just deter drivers instead of taking our money then deterring.

JC JC 5:13 am 14 Jul 07

You know I kind of thought this was the type installed EVERYWHERE in the ACT. IIRC correctly the only radar type was a trail on Northborne/London Circuit years ago. With the red light you will find that you have to break both sensors to be done. Ie you can trigger the first, but you must be moving through to get done for running a red.

bd84 bd84 8:59 pm 13 Jul 07

In other related good news..
The permanent speed cameras are beginning to erected on the Tuggeranong Parkway in both directions just on the city side of the Cotter Road overpass, the north bound one is already in place, I doubt it is turned on as yet, but you never know.. One 500m section of the Parkway will now be 100km/hr the rest will still be travelled at about 120km/hr+ lol

caf caf 2:23 pm 13 Jul 07

I’m sure those cameras are highly effective at catching people that run red lights at those intersections.

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