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Speeding fines – a sorry tale of administration

AG Canberra 24 June 2009 26

Some RiotACTers may remember my post last year about my wife getting a speeding fine from the Monara Highway camera near the Rose Cottage roundabout. This was for doing 101kmh. We thought it was just wrong – she never drives that fast. We decided to pay it and move on (as most people do).

Last week she again recieved a fine for doing 91kmh in the same spot. Now my earlier assertion was starting to look a bit shaky but to humour her we sent in a request for the calibration certificates for both infringements.

Today the paperwork arrived. Lo and behold the most recent infringement has been withdrawn. Happy Days! Due to a processing error, whatever that is.

Also provided were the dates that the calibrations were done and a copy of the legislation that states calibration only has to be done once per twelve month period. Once every twelve months! What happens if when calibrating it’s found to be faulty. Does EVERYONE who was fined in the past 12 months get their money/points/licence back? What about the bloke that loses his job because he’s lost his licence due to a faulty machine?

Surely these things need to be checked on a more regular basis. And what is the mystery “processing error” and how many of them occur and go un-noticed (therefore raking in extra cash for the toy Gov)? Sounds to me like a crappy system that is issuing thousands of dollars in fines each day.


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26 Responses to Speeding fines – a sorry tale of administration
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AG Canberra AG Canberra 8:49 am 25 Jun 09

There are two units there – the flash unit and the bigger box. It is different to the ones on the Parkway – they clearly have the strips cut into the road. The two on the Monaro don’t seem to have anything cut into the road – hence my assumption that they are a radar/laser device.

Either way – anyone know who or what company calibrates them?

harley harley 7:54 am 25 Jun 09

JC said :

The sensor type will just have the camera unit and flash unit. If there is no seperate box it isn’t radar. As for laser I don’t think we have any fixed laser speed cameras in the ACT, just the mobile vans.

I helped set up a trial doppler radar system in Victoria 3 years ago. It had a large box with a camera unit and a radar, a separate flash box and a lane-sense radar that was no bigger than 20cm long and 8cm diameter.

I disagree with your assertion that it cannot be radar.

JC JC 12:48 am 25 Jun 09

cranky said :

Sorry JC, I think you are wrong.

The camera in question is, I am sure, a laser/radar device. No roadworks were involved with this camera, and its mate near Gull, and the two at the Hindmarsh Drive overpass.

This particular camera is apparently focussed on the far right lane, the one exiting the Monaro and entering the Rose Cottage roundabout. Radar/laser probably means it can cover all three lanes. Feedback from southbound Monaro speedsters could be interesting.

They don’t need major road works to install the sensors and a seperate sensor can be put in for each lane. All they do is use a cutter to cut a grove in the road, put the sensor cable in, wire it back to the camera control unit and fill the groove with a tar type substance.

I don’t travel that way all that often so cannot be 100% sure what this one is, but if it is a radar one, like some used in NSW there will be a radar box mounted off the side of the camera, as well as the flash unit. The sensor type will just have the camera unit and flash unit. If there is no seperate box it isn’t radar. As for laser I don’t think we have any fixed laser speed cameras in the ACT, just the mobile vans.

harley harley 12:00 am 25 Jun 09

GPS with speed display on is more accurate than any car speedo I’ve ever had. Car speedos generally read over, so you can push it a bit.

That said, I’m with Spideydog… Hundreds of people go past those cameras at or just over the limit by their speedo daily… If the cameras were out so much, there’d be a flood of complaints.

Spideydog Spideydog 11:18 pm 24 Jun 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

Would changing your car tyres or wheels size maybe affect your speedo readings?

As far as I am aware, yes it can. Different rims and tyre size from the original manufacturer specs can effect the reading on the Speedo.

Minor changes don’t effect that much though.

BUT, (there is always a but ….) in the eyes of the law, inaccurate speedo’s are not a defence to speeding.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 10:55 pm 24 Jun 09

Would changing your car tyres or wheels size maybe affect your speedo readings?

Spideydog Spideydog 10:31 pm 24 Jun 09

I use the Monaro Highway numerous times daily and travel at the posted speed limit (not 5-10 below) in varying different vehicles and have not been pinged yet by any of the camera’s. I frequently see people fly past me, brake hard for the cameras and then 100m later speed back up and blare off into the distance and I bet they don’t get pinged either.

I am not calling people liars here, but I am skeptical. For those that have been done, when was the last time you had your speedo professionally checked for accuracy ?. People are upset that the camera’s are only checked annually (which I can see their point) but how many of them have had their speedometer checked for accuracy ?? EVER !!

deezagood deezagood 10:09 pm 24 Jun 09

zztopless said :

Would this be the Camera on the Monaro Highway “between Mugga Lane and Isabella drive”?

I got a fine today for 89 in an 80 zone, but I religiously stick to the speed limit there (on the whole Monaro for that matter).

What was the process involved in sending in a request for the calibration certificate? Who did you ring/email/mail to get this?

Bingo – this is the camera that pinged me a few times last year …. and at the time, I always used cruise control set to ’80’. Now I use cruise control set to 75 ….

cranky cranky 6:51 pm 24 Jun 09

Sorry JC, I think you are wrong.

The camera in question is, I am sure, a laser/radar device. No roadworks were involved with this camera, and its mate near Gull, and the two at the Hindmarsh Drive overpass.

This particular camera is apparently focussed on the far right lane, the one exiting the Monaro and entering the Rose Cottage roundabout. Radar/laser probably means it can cover all three lanes. Feedback from southbound Monaro speedsters could be interesting.

JC JC 6:40 pm 24 Jun 09

AG Canberra said :

I reckon there is something dodgy with this camera. I’m hearing too many stories of people that swear they weren’t speeding – yet still get fined…..

Problem is that I am no laser speed checking device calibration expert – anyone know one?

The cameras in the ACT are not laser, so no need to find a laser speed checking expert. Most if not all ‘our’ camera’s use two or more induction sensors embedded in the road surface that trigger when a car passes over them. Speed is calculated by meassuring the time difference between them triggering. Same with the red light camera’s, all of which in the ACT double as speed camera’s.

cranky cranky 5:56 pm 24 Jun 09

We need a Godwin Grech in the Traffic Camera Office to alert us mere mortals that the camera shat itself 3 weeks after calibration, and has been misreading (upward, of course) ever since.

As if.

G-Fresh G-Fresh 5:46 pm 24 Jun 09

ant said :

Well, that’s understandable. they don’t want to get a speeding ticket.

Good pick up.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 5:43 pm 24 Jun 09

I reckon there is something dodgy with this camera. I’m hearing too many stories of people that swear they weren’t speeding – yet still get fined…..

Problem is that I am no laser speed checking device calibration expert – anyone know one?

AG Canberra AG Canberra 5:35 pm 24 Jun 09

topless – Just put in a short letter to the Traffic Camera Office requesting the calibration certificates for the offence they have pinged you for. I specifically asked for the certificates – not just the dates they were calibrated.

Remember – if a copper catches you you can ask to see the speed and the calibration sticker affixed to the radar or laser device. That will show when it was calibrated and by whom. Speed cameras are no different….

zztopless zztopless 4:54 pm 24 Jun 09

Would this be the Camera on the Monaro Highway “between Mugga Lane and Isabella drive”?

I got a fine today for 89 in an 80 zone, but I religiously stick to the speed limit there (on the whole Monaro for that matter).

What was the process involved in sending in a request for the calibration certificate? Who did you ring/email/mail to get this?

AG Canberra AG Canberra 1:52 pm 24 Jun 09

Cranky, according to the office the camera was calibrated on:

22 May 08 (which makes it valid through to 22 May 09)This one covered the first speeding fine in October last year (a full 5 months after the calibration…)
and
6 April 09 (which now makes it valid to April 2010).

I am waiting for the full reports to see whether the one in April 09 was just routine or due to other reasons…ie – vandalism, replacement of parts or it not working properly. Of course if it wasn’t working properly in April and needed to be recalibrated – how do we know when it crapped itself?

cranky cranky 1:19 pm 24 Jun 09

AG,

Are you able to list the dates calibration was tested? I too have been pinged at this camera, for 88k’s, within the last 18 months.

The fine was paid, and I’m not looking for reimbursement, but it would be nice to remove the details from a motor vehicle insurance policy I have subsequently taken out.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 12:15 pm 24 Jun 09

We were provided with dates only. i have gone back to the office asking for the actual certificates – which should detail who did the certifing, the method, date and the results etc. I’ll be interested to see what they supply.

I’ll email a request when I get the revised TIN.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 12:05 pm 24 Jun 09

We were provided with dates only. i have gone back to the office asking for the actual certificates – which should detail who did the certifing, the method, date and the results etc. I’ll be interested to see what they supply.

Quokka Quokka 11:30 am 24 Jun 09

ant said :

Well, that’s understandable. they don’t want to get a speeding ticket.

Boom! Boom!

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