Speed Cameras In ACT 'Unreliable' And 'Ineffective': ACT Auditor-General Photo:
Trevor Collett | Mar, 23 2014 | 10 Comments

The Australian Capital Territory Auditor-General, Dr Maxine Cooper, has slammed Canberra’s speed camera network, questioning their impact on road safety.

In a report, the Auditor-General said the current crop of mobile and fixed speed cameras was unreliable, expensive and ineffective.

Dr Cooper said data from the cameras could not accurately determine the extent of speeding in the ACT.

"Speed camera reliability is poor, particularly for mobile speed cameras," Dr Cooper said in her report.

"This has led to escalating maintenance costs, limited camera availability and a greater number of rejected infringements. Also, there has been no 'network-representative, speed monitoring system' which could be used to gauge the extent of the ACT's speeding problem.”

"Therefore the extent of the problem or the impact of the [ACT] Government's speed cameras on road safety cannot be determined."

Dr Cooper made 16 recommendations in her report, outlining problems with all four of the ACT’s current speed and red-light camera methods.

The Auditor-General said mobile speed camera coverage is limited and overt (despite the list of sites totalling well over 100), and that fixed speed and red-light camera locations were poorly chosen.

The report said between 18 and 43 percent of infringement notices were rejected, and the ACT was the only province in Australia to ignore crash data when determining speed camera locations.

Fixed cameras would need to be placed at the ridiculous frequency of one for every four kilometres in order to deter speeding, according to the report, rather than the 13 cameras which currently cover 290km of arterial roads.

Dr Cooper said that the point-to-point (or ‘average speed’) cameras currently in operation may not be cost-effective, and her report attacked the current ACT Labor minority government for its lack of speed camera strategy.

"There is no strategic basis for making decisions for integrating the use of the ACT's four speed camera systems, as the ACT Government does not have a speed camera strategy and its draft ACT road safety camera strategy (September 2013) is not a strategy," Dr Cooper said.

The ACT Opposition has seized on the report, saying it proves the government has chosen speed camera sites purely on revenue-raising potential, rather than road safety.

Meanwhile, an independent review of the ACT’s camera network was ordered by the government earlier this month, to be carried out by the University of New South Wales.

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