Red-light runners generate more than $1.5 million in fines

Michael Weaver 12 May 2020 42
Red light camera

There are 13 red light cameras in the ACT collecting more than $1.5 million a year in fines. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

ACT Policing issued more than 3,438 fines in 2019 for drivers not obeying red lights at intersections, resulting in more than $1.5 million in fines from red-light cameras.

A further 842 infringements and warnings were issued as a result of fixed cameras at intersections detecting drivers ignoring red lights.

The intersection at Northbourne Avenue and London Circuit accounted for more than 40 per cent of fines (1450 fines), almost double the number caught running the red light at the intersection of Canberra Avenue, Captain Cook Crescent and Manuka Circle (805 fines).

The fine for not stopping for a red light is $451 and the loss of three demerit points, meaning Northbourne Avenue-London Circuit intersection generated more than $650,000 of revenue in fines last year.

The intersection at Barry Drive and Marcus Clarke Street accounted for 261 fines for drivers.

The Drakeford Drive, Boddington Crescent, Marconi Crescent intersection at Kambah caught 199 drivers, while fixed cameras caught a further 157 drivers at the Hindmarsh Drive and Tuggeranong Parkway intersection.

Other hot spots include the intersection of Canberra Avenue, Hindmarsh Drive and Newcastle Street at Fyshwick (145 fines) and the intersection of Ginninderra Drive and Coulter Drive at Belconnen (109 fines).

The Hindmarsh Drive/Yamba Drive intersection and the Hindmarsh Drive/Ball Street also saw more than 100 fines issued.

There are 13 red-light cameras in the ACT.

ACT Policing’s officer-in-charge of traffic operations Detective Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman said every one of the offences could have resulted in catastrophic injuries.

“From a road safety perspective, it is disappointing that, on average, more than 11 drivers a day last year were caught ignoring red lights,” said Detective Station Sergeant Boorman, adding that ACT Policing’s traffic focus for May is drivers not obeying red lights at intersections.

“Every time a driver fails to stop for a red light there is the real chance they will collide with a pedestrian or vehicle that has the green light. Red lights are not negotiable. You must stop for every red light – for your own safety and that of all other road users.

“My message is simple. Do not risk it. Pay attention when driving, be prepared for lights to change and stop every time for the red,” Detective Station Sergeant Boorman said.

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42 Responses to Red-light runners generate more than $1.5 million in fines
Christine Jones Christine Jones 5:32 pm 21 May 20

Target Gungahlin - outside the Police tation is rife!

rossau rossau 5:16 pm 15 May 20

Some years ago, the intersection at Barry Drive and Marcus Clarke Street was allegedly the biggest revenue raiser and that was because it didn’t play by the rules.
What rules are there? None, really and that’s why the magistrate didn’t want to hear my story. Absolutely, though, the lights were rigged so as to maximise catching people in a manner decidedly unfair.
How? In an 80 kph zone there’s about 5′ of orange light. In a 60 kph zone about 3′ and we’re used to braking and stopping in said time if we can do so safely. Any variation from these times produces unexpected outcomes.
At said intersection the orange light was set for an unbelievable short 1.5′.
Urban Services also had no one to hear my complaint but the light time was later extended. It’s not impossible they’re up to their old tricks and should again be called to account.
It’s also possible that there are too many drivers who ought not have a licence.

Michael Duggan Michael Duggan 11:35 am 15 May 20

Or kill or maim someone

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:08 am 15 May 20

Good opportunity to go back ten years and re-cap:

Note that the minimum fine has more than doubled in the past 10 years (like most “services” and fines created by the current government). My retirement income has halved in the same period.

That’s unsustainable.

Carole Ford Carole Ford 8:16 pm 13 May 20

Oh yeah, a red light runner lead recovery!!

Brisal Brisal 4:51 pm 13 May 20

While there is little excuse for running a red light, I wonder why they can’t take some behaviours into account. How many of these red lights have been run by drivers who despair at being stuck at them for the next 45 minutes until the traffic light cycle comes back around? I recall that in Melbourne, which probably as a little bit more traffic than Canberra, the lights cycle through *very* quickly, far more rapidly than Canberra lights. If people knew they weren’t going to be stuck behind them for hours they might be less inclined to try and rush it at the last second.

    Maya123 Maya123 7:04 pm 13 May 20

    “next 45 minutes”

    Extreme exaggeration there, me thinks! Meanwhile other cars are getting the chance to move.

Archie Mac Archie Mac 4:19 pm 13 May 20

Revenue raising at its best

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:01 pm 13 May 20

    Archie Mac it’s only revenue raising because people are running red lights! There can be no excuse for running a red. Noting to get done you need to actually cross the hold line after the light has turned red.

    Archie Mac Archie Mac 5:48 pm 13 May 20

    Ashley Wright I understand how they work

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:14 pm 13 May 20

    Archie Mac so how is it revenue raising? Nothing the normal use of that expression.

    Archie Mac Archie Mac 8:31 pm 13 May 20

    Ashley Wright pretty obvious I would have thought

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:29 pm 13 May 20

    Archie Mac obviously it isn’t.

Peter McDonald Peter McDonald 2:21 pm 13 May 20

It’s a trap for trucks doing 40kmh.

Spiral Spiral 2:07 pm 13 May 20

I have had some near misses over the years caused by people running red lights.

Use the money raised to to pay for more red light cameras.

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 12:53 pm 13 May 20

With that revenue you could almost invest in red light cameras on most intersections in Canberra, then all that revenue for the additional cameras could bring in more funding for more my budgeting bad, or what?

grim123 grim123 12:39 pm 13 May 20

People aren’t running the red light at the London Circuit/Northbourne intersection. They are getting stuck in the intersection because of the crappy timing of the lights up ahead. I’ve seen a heap of people enter that intersection on a green light, have the traffic ahead suddenly stop, and get stuck in the intersection when the light goes red. I’m betting that’s the vast majority of these tickets.

    JC JC 7:53 am 15 May 20

    Your guess would be wrong. To get a ticket you need to enter the intersection AFTER the light has gone red. The sensors are just after the hold line. Not sure if it is the case here but in NSW and Vic the camera takes two pictures about half a second apart so even crossing the hold line on a red may not be a fine if the second photo shows you have stopped.

    Being inside the intersection when it has gone red is not considered running a red though you could get a fine (not from the camera) for blocking an intersection.

    That said there is no excuse for getting stuck in the intersection either. It’s easy to see if any vehicles on the other side are moving and how much many vehicles can join that queue. The core issue these days is everyone is so impatient and lack the ability to look further than the car right in front and to “read” the traffic.

Liz Hampton Liz Hampton 11:20 am 13 May 20

What about people that slow down for a green light so everyone else gets stuck at a red? It’s not like they carrying sticks of gelignite

Wade Bermingham Wade Bermingham 9:31 am 13 May 20

How many accidents though

Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 7:07 am 13 May 20

Interesting that most are at very busy intersections. I'm sure some of these fines would've been for people just ignoring lights, but I bet most are those who think they can make it through the orange and miscalculate.

There is a lot of pressure to go through the orange in peak hour at busy intersections, especially on Northbourne. And especially if you're turning right and cars behind you are blocking traffic going straight because the turn lanes are too short.

Rules are rules and the fines are justified, but it doesn't mean there's thousands of people just fanging it through the red.

Darron Marks Darron Marks 11:14 pm 12 May 20

If you really wanted to deter people running red light you would put up more signage before the intersection that there is a red light/speed camera.

This is also a speed camera prevention of an offence is better than generation of revenue.

    Adam Butchart Adam Butchart 7:40 am 13 May 20

    Darron Marks so by your logic, you only abide by the rules if you think you’re going to get caught if you break them? Then by the same logic it’s fine to run red lights where there are no signs and cameras...

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 8:46 am 13 May 20

    Everytime someone runs a red light is the potential for a serious accident. Obviously this is a particularly dangerous intersection due to the need for it having a speed and red light camera.

    So if people are still running this red light consistently we should be putting up more signage in order to prevent this from happening in the first place.

    Your assumption that I am somehow in favor of people running red lights is a strawman argument. I mean nothing of the sort prevention is always better than revenue.

    Wayne Gartner Wayne Gartner 10:47 am 13 May 20

    I know the stove is hot. Dont need a sign to tell me not to touch

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 11:20 am 13 May 20

    My argument still stands this specific speed/red light camera doesn't have much in the way of warning signage leading up to the intersection. I am therefore inferring that the considerable income generated is more to do with the lack of warning signage.

    I am not saying there isn't any signage I am just pointing out that obviously it isn't very effective so more signage that stands out more is obviously required.

    So if we want to discourage this behaviour we should look at increasing the signage. The revenue generated is a clear indication more needs to be done to prevent this behaviour in the future.

    This is in no way a justification or post that supports that people should speed or run redlights. It is a simple reflection on the fact stated that more needs to be done to discourage this behaviour at this specific intersection.

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 11:29 am 13 May 20

    This sign maybe needs to be updated to make it standout more. And maybe a sign closer to the red light cameras ?

    It isn't like we don't have enough money generated by these infringements that we cannot invest in better signage ?

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 11:35 am 13 May 20

    Something like this for example

    Drew Eppelstun Drew Eppelstun 1:33 pm 13 May 20

    Darron Marks it’s a red light mate. Why is signage needed at all?!

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 1:54 pm 13 May 20

    Drew why do they install signage at all if your theory is that we all inherently should not need signage.

    It is a deterrent from adverse behaviour. I am not a sociologist as to my signage is needed at all.

    But given the revenue generated it is pretty obvious more signage might reduce the frequency of people running that red light.

    Anthony Putland Anthony Putland 6:19 pm 14 May 20

    Drew Eppelstun because people are running it in record numbers... It's not rocket science.

    Darron Marks Darron Marks 9:19 pm 14 May 20

    I know it is pretty basic logic not very difficult to work out that maybe it might be best to you know put up a bigger or better sign 🙄

Qaiser Shahzad Qaiser Shahzad 10:51 pm 12 May 20

Easiest way to make a million.

Ibrahim Mansuri Ibrahim Mansuri 10:23 pm 12 May 20

Hakkı Gökalp Üstün you equate to half

Tim Hutch Tim Hutch 10:21 pm 12 May 20

We need more red light cameras. Canberra drivers don't seem to care about the road rules unless someone is watching.

Mark Beech Mark Beech 10:05 pm 12 May 20

Haha. I love these stories. Kinda makes me laugh every time. Thanks must go to all those people who are kind enough to donate their money to the police. It is very easy to wait at red lights. Don’t go through and you don’t get fined. Really simple!

    Helen Beech Helen Beech 9:51 pm 14 May 20

    Mark Beech - that made me laugh! Have you always had this philosophy?

    Mark Beech Mark Beech 10:04 pm 14 May 20

    hahaha. Looks like the system works. No tickets for almost two decades!

    Helen Beech Helen Beech 10:06 pm 14 May 20

    Mark Beech - that was a good lesson learnt then. Well done x

Darcy Ryan Darcy Ryan 9:30 pm 12 May 20

Did any of these automatic fines help reduce the road toll.... or did it just raise revenue.

    Chris Corcoran Chris Corcoran 9:36 pm 12 May 20

    Darcy Ryan if they got a fine, they jumped the light, which would increase the risk of an accident. So the imposition of a specific fine cannot reduce the death toll in its self, because the offence, which could result in a fatal accident has already taken place. However, if having received a fine they changed their behaviour, then the fine may have contributed to reducing the death toll.

    Rod Bransgrove Rod Bransgrove 9:12 am 13 May 20

    Darcy Ryan who cares. You run you pay. 😆

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