12 May 2020

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

| Michael Weaver
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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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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.

Capital Retro9:08 am 15 May 20

Good opportunity to go back ten years and re-cap: https://the-riotact.com/possibility-of-getting-a-red-light-camera-fine/29584/comment-page-1#comment-286819

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.

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.

“next 45 minutes”

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

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.

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.

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.

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