An extra $1.3 million will be allocated to speed cameras in next month’s ACT Budget, and new laws will be proposed to allow the cameras to operate on any ACT road.
Currently, a list of all potential speed camera locations is available to the public online, but this could soon change if the Labor minority government can attract the support of Green Legislative Assembly member, Shane Rattenbury.
Mr Rattenbury declared his support for the Labor Party which enabled them to form government, after the 2012 ACT Election resulted in a hung parliament and left the sole Greens member with the balance of power.
And as Mr Rattenbury is currently in control of three ministerial portfolios relating to the speed camera program, his support for the bill seems likely.
The increase in spending and program expansion come despite a report into ACT speed cameras by the University of New South Wales finding drivers barely react to the cameras.
The report’s findings were finally released this week following its completion in July last year.
Fairfax reports the University of NSW found speeding was reduced by between 6-8 percent from 1999 to 2002; a change which remained in place until 2004.
But as drivers became more aware of the cameras and their locations, speeding returned to pre-camera levels by 2006 and has trended upwards since.
Despite this trend, the ACT’s road toll has not followed any upward or downward trend, gradually dropping year-on-year from 18 in 2000 before spiking to 26 in 2005.
Since 2010, the ACT’s annual road tolls have been 18, six, 12, seven and ten last year, with five people having lost their lives on ACT roads so far in 2015.
The report declared speed and serious collisions present a “substantial challenge” to ACT road authorities, and that the effects of the cameras on Canberra’s roads are “consistent with other jurisdictions and countries”.
Combined red light and speed cameras at intersections have led to a reduction in right-angle collisions, but an increase in nose-to-tail incidents.
Mobile cameras could be partly responsible for a 7-9 percent drop in collisions on roads where they may be seen in the six years to 2012, and intersections with fixed cameras had seen a reduction in collisions resulting in serious injury.
The University of NSW report follows a separate and damning report by the ACT Auditor-General from last year, which slammed the ACT’s speed cameras.
Auditor-General Dr Maxine Cooper declared the program ‘unreliable’, while attacking almost every aspect of its existence - from the cost of maintenance to a lack of evidence that it was having any positive impact on Canberra’s roads.
MORE: NSW Speed Camera Activists Gain International Attention, Ministerial Fury
MORE News & Reviews: ACT | Speed Cameras | Studies