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Hidden Speed Cameras: Safety vs Revenue.

Speed cameraIt’s a contentious issue and one that changes a simple conversation into full blown arguments: speed and speed cameras, safety device or revenue raiser? First up, what EXACTLY is speed? According to Wikipedia:

In kinematics, the speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity (the rate of change of its position); it is thus a scalar quantity. The average speed of an object in an interval of time is the distance travelled by the object divided by the duration of the interval; the instantaneous speed is the limit of the average speed as the duration of the time interval approaches zero.  Like velocity, speed has the dimensions of a length divided by a time; the SI unit of speed is the metre per second, but the most usual unit of speed in everyday usage is the kilometre per hour or, in the USA and the UK, miles per hour. For air and marine travel the knot is commonly used.

Or more simply, A cyclist who covers 30 metres in a time of 2 seconds, for example, has a speed of 15 metres per second. Basically velocity over distance in a time frame. In Australia, we measure our speed as kilometres per hour, so fifty kilometres per hour is fifty thousand metres of distance travelled every 3600 seconds. This equates to be 13.888 metres every second. 80 k’s per hour is 22.222 metres per second and 11o is 30.555 metres per second. Ok, we’re clear on that?

There are those that say that if you don’t speed then you won’t receive an infringement. True, undeniably true but it sidesteps what the argument is all about. There’s also the ubiquitous and well worn “speed kills”. Let’s put this into one context: if a driver travels at 60kilometres per hour in a rated zone of fifty kilometres per hour, that driver is, technically, speeding. If the driver is doing the same speed, sixty kmh in an 80 kmh zone, the same speed remember, they’re not speeding. So, according to convention, the media, the police etc, the first is dangerous yet, somehow, that same velocity over distance per time isn’t….back to “speed kills”….which speed, exactly?

Crashed Ferrari single vehicleOur residential roads are zoned at 50 kmh. Our highways are zoned at either 100 kmh or 110 kmh. Travel at 80 kmh in a 60 kmh and you’re speeding BUT in order to achieve a speed of 100/110 kmh you not only have to reach 80 kmh but EXCEED that speed. So what is dangerous, 80 in a 60 or passing that formerly dangerous speed to one that is deemed safe????

Ok, we’re told that speed kills. It’s a blanket statement, exactly like “the customer is always right”. The problem is the caveat part of those statements is missing. Speed doesn’t kill, it’s the sudden stop. This is where physics comes into play, with an object in motion possessing kinetic energy. That kinetic energy has to be dispersed when that object stops; also, a little more physics. You may have heard of “G force”; from Wikipedia:

G-force (with g from gravitational) is a measurement of acceleration felt as weight. It is not a force, but a force per unit mass and can be measured with an accelerometer. Since such a force is perceived as a weight, any g-force can be described as a “weight per unit mass” (see the synonym specific weight). The g-force acceleration acts as a multiplier of weight-like forces for every unit of an object’s mass, and (save for certain electromagnetic force influences) is the cause of an object’s acceleration in relation to free-fall

Under normal and everyday circumstances, a human is experiencing a G force load of 1G. Deceleration also involves G force and the higher the deceleration the higher the G force. To be slightly technical:  The expression “1 g = 9.80665 m/s2 means that for every second that elapses, velocity changes 9.80665 meters per second (≡35.30394 km/h). This rate of change in velocity can also be denoted as 9.80665 (meter per second) per second, or 9.80665 m/s2. For example: An acceleration of 1 g equates to a rate of change in velocity of approximately 35 kilometres per hour (22 mph) for each second that elapses. Therefore, if an automobile is capable of braking at 1 g and is traveling at 35 kilometres per hour (22 mph) it can brake to a standstill in one second and the driver will experience a deceleration of 1 g. The automobile traveling at three times this speed, 105 km/h (65 mph), can brake to a standstill in three seconds. For humans, death or serious injury occurs with a G force rating of >25G. So, clearly, it’s neither speed (to keep it simple, let’s presume a constant velocity therefore a G force of 1G) nor acceleration (as even the space shuttle was kept to an acceleration G force of less than 3G), that kills people, it IS the sudden stop. To use a somewhat graphic yet famous example, the crash that took the lives of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed was estimated to have a G force factor of 70G to 100G….

Tim Slade crashThe Bathurst 1000 event over the weekend of 11-13 October 2013 saw a number of crashes, including young drivers Tim Slade and Chaz Mostert. It was estimated that the G force shunts for both was around 30G. Now, here’s the rub; the vehicles they are driving are built and engineered with what is considered high speed in mind. Also, the safety mechanisms we take for granted, primarily airbags, are removed BUT they have super strength seatbelts in a configuration known as a four point harness. Relative movement or slackness of these belts is hugely minimal compared to the seatbelts in cars (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/seatb.html) therefore their bodily movement will be severely reduced. As a result, a combination of that primary safety factor and car construction aided in reducing serious injury, to the point both drivers reported bruising and some aches, but nothing worse.

So speed kills? No, it doesn’t. Clearly, obviously, provably. Therefore the argument for restricting speed limits and using speed cameras has serious opposition. Therefore the argument for speed cameras to stop speeding is invalid. An example: a driver is travelling a road zoned at 110 kilometres per hour in dry conditions and 100 percent visibility (the caveat). It’s raining, it’s foggy and it’s dusk. Visibility, even with headlights on (a safety factor badly overlooked) is 10 metres. Remember that 110kmh is 30 metres PER SECOND. Is it safe to travel at 110 even though that’s what the signs say that driver can do? But if that driver DOES travel at 110 they aren’t breaking the law and therefore not subject to receiving an infringement. But is it SAFE? By no sensible reasoning should this be seen as safe. Road limits are set for the presumption of 100% visibility for the direction of road travel and road design and the surrounding area and in many areas they are too low.

So: speed cameras are used to restrict excessive speed, with posted limits set under what is presumably the best conditions, with one unassailable fact, the biggest chance factor of all: how good is the driver? Anyone that races at Bathurst is there because, not only can they race, they can handle speeds that the authorities would have us believe is dangerous. Remember, the majority of the year sees the track a residential road, with a posted limit of just 60 kmh. If speed kills, then why are all the drivers that raced this year still alive? No, it’s not a petty and frivolous question, as we are told, repeatedly, speed is dangerous…..but to who? Certainly not Mark Winterbottom, certainly not Warren Luff, certainly not Andy Priaulx. Speed cameras are used to control speed, they don’t control bad drivers. Well trained and educated and AWARE drivers are so much more safer to deal with and they can deal with speeds others can’t. There is no justification for speed cameras in many locations but yes, in some places they should be mandatory.

Nose to nose car crashAccording to the Bureau of Statistics, in 2010, a staggering 44.2% of fatal crashes were a single vehicle crash, whilst 42% were multiple vehicle. The inescapable fact is these crashes have one common cause or factor and it’s not speed. It’s a bad driver. In the same year, at speeds of up to just 60kmh, the equation was 28.3% of fatalities occurred in that grouping, whilst in the sixty five to ninety zone it was 22.4%. What’s more frightening is the change of numbers in the Northern Territory; in 2009 it was 13 people per 100000 that were in a fatal crash. In 2010, it jumped to 21. Those numbers increased almost year by year after the unlimited roads were changed to a maximum of 130 kmh. Time of the crashes is also an important factor: in 2012 there were more fatalities in NSW between 12 and 1 pm (30) than at any other time of the day, with Victoria not far behind at 18 between 1 and 2pm. Neither could hardly to be said it’s peak hour traffic yet Allianz Insurance says the most common form of crash is the nose to tail. Guess when these are likely to happen? That’s right, peak hour.

Speed doesn’t kill. Speed cameras do nothing to reduce the reason people die in a crash: the sudden stop. The Victorian police say they’re going to hide their cameras so the operators don’t get hurt by the occasional twit that’s just been nabbed speeding, presumably because 1) they’re a twit for not slowing when the sign says there’s a camera or 2) didn’t slow because they were too busy looking at their speedometer. It’s commendable but I’m sure you can understand the cynical laughs from those that can do what the law, ostensibly, wants everyone to do. Drive, rather than steer, a vehicle.

 

Sources: http://statistics.infrastructure.gov.au/atsb/login.do?guest=guest&tableId=user/atsbguest/Road%20Deaths%20by%20State%20and%20Territory.txd

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~Accidents,%20injuries%20and%20fatalities~189

27 comments

  1. Craig says:

    I understand the need for simplicity when getting a message across but ‘Speed Kills’ just masks all the other inportant factors.
    In some cases, speed will actually help reduce accidents eg driving in the NT on a dead-straight road for 300kms I’d bet that the driver at 90km is more likely to have an accident than the driver at 130km.hr – as much as anything he’s on the road for 40% longer.

    October 25th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

  2. Dr David Arelette says:

    No mathematical proof for Speed Cameras.

    If speed cameras reduce road deaths that requires Causality to be proven and this proof would allow the Government to publish details of the cars, people, dates and locations of accidents that did NOT happen due to speed cameras, otherwise it’s only a Correlation relationship and that proves nothing. Clearly they cannot publish this data as real Cause and Effect mathematics requires, so all Governments 100% of the time LIE to us when they suggest that these revenue devices have any other effect. There is only one proof of Causality and ask the Minister next time you have the chance as to what this proof is – he will have no idea and I am not going to tell him here either.

    October 25th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

  3. Justin says:

    OMG – it’s as if I had written that, but I hadn’t……still you’re reading my mind!

    I moved here 4 years ago, and every other European I know says the same thing about Aussie drivers, that even though they are generally fantastic people, behind the wheel of a vehicle they are the most unaware, discourteous and ignorant people around, and I’m pretty sure that that’s why there’s accidents, not speed.

    To highlight another one of your points, I’m also amazed at the % of vehicles that are autos and not manual, lazy driving,….yes, Aussies know how to STEER a car, but they generally don’t know how to DRIVE a car, and speed cameras aren’t going to help that.

    Aussie Aussie Aussie

    October 25th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

  4. Dominic says:

    Speed cameras should only be used at known ‘accident black spots’, and only during hours known to have contributed to the accident black spots. With this policy, motorists would respect the logic behind the placement of the cameras.

    October 25th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

  5. Atila says:

    Actually speed cameras increase possibility of accident. Because you have to check speedo all the time. For long way not much (you can put on cruise). However in the city driving, My eye check continously speedo and if a car suddenly brake at the front of me then you hit the car. Also If you driving 64kph speed on 60 limit zone you get fined. How my eye will be on the speedo all the time.
    In Europe, speed limit changes during the day. Such 60kmh day time, when it is quite time after 8pm increase to 70kmh.

    Look at Germany they have very good autobahns and they drive 200kmh speed and it does not kill them. Dangerous careless driving really kills.

    If you drving between Geelong & Melbourne, 3 -4 line road and if you make 105kmh then you get speed fine of $130, if you go 2kmh slower you do not get very danger in this case, Firstly three should be min of 7% -10% tolerance over 100kmh.

    Speed cameras become revenue business for goverment

    October 25th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

  6. Phil Spencer says:

    This is just about the most biased discussion on this subject I have ever seen. It totally ignores the fact that speed is relative – while they are both moving at the same actual speed, a vehicle doing 80 km/h in a 50 km/h zone is moving in an area of higher density pedestrian and other traffic than a a vehicle doing 80 km/h in a 110 km/h zone. It ignores the fact that the information the driver needs to assess in the former case is far higher than in the latter case; and that in the event of an incident the vehicle will usually need to stop far more quickly in the 50 km/h zone, and vehicle momentum will prevent the vehicle 80km/h from doing so in time. It is impractical in the extreme to set individual speed limits based on some sort of driver assessment, as driver ability is affected by such a wide range of factors. In most cases, limits dependant on conditions are likewise impractical. It is also demonstably ridiculous to depend on individual drivers to assess their own capabilities; many of those single vehicle accidents you refer to are the result of the driver over-estimating their capabilities, and more than a few of them are the result of speeding as defined as “having a velocity above the posted speed limit”. As a pragmatic best fit approach to the issue we are therefore stuck with our speed limits, and with enforcing those limits.

    October 25th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

  7. John says:

    I travel around 40000 km per year on the roads. This article could not be more true to what speed cameras primary objective is…raising revenue. I have a dash camera and can prove that most speeding is due to people getting agitated behind lazy drivers not moving to the slower left lanes. They accelerate to find gaps in the traffic to get away from these idiots on the road that think because they pay taxes, they are entitled to drive in the right hand lane from when they enter until they leave that piece of road.

    On traffic accidents, I have noticed up to 3 in 10 people either talking or txt on mobile phones whilst driving. Peak traffic or not…school zone or not. They drive $15000 plus vehicle yet they can’t afford a $12 Bluetooth kit from eBay. It’s pathetic. Morning and afternoon driver are the worst offenders.

    Talking about morning and afternoon drivers…they are also the laziest people when it comes to the use of lights. Lights are there for other people to see YOU…not for you to see OTHER road users. The same applies for when it’s overcast and raining. Drivers with dark coloured and gray coloured cars don’t realize how their cars blend into the surrounding areas.

    Combine the lights off with others being distracted by phones and you have an accident waiting to happen. Stats show that most accidents happen in the periods 1 to 2 hours either side of dawn and dusk…because they are not visible to other road users…saving their lights for a rainy day perhaps…and then when that day comes…they still don’t use their lights. Is your life or that of a fellow road user not worth more than a $10 light globe?

    I would like the authorities to start a campaign…
    “Safe a life…maybe your own…switch on your lights!”

    It’s been proven in European countries that having daylight driving lights on makes you more visible any time of day and accident rates dropped. That’s why it’s mandatory on most European cars.

    I wonder what the stats would say if you contact the insurance companies and ask they how many people claim they simply “did not see the other car”. Inattentive behavior and not using lights?

    October 25th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  8. Warwick says:

    A quick look at the locations, and the tight tolerances on the cameras, and one can be left in no doubt that they are all about revenue.

    Bottoms of hills, just after seemingly pointless changes in speed limits, roads where the speed limit is clearly under what it should be.

    I know of one where the limit changes from 100 to 60 while travelling down a hill, there is a camera at the bottom, then the limit immediately changes back to 100.

    Another location, on the Pacific Hwy, the limit changes down to 60 (I think), you go around two curves, and the camera is next to the sign that changes the limit back to 100. It is literally next to the sign, so if you start to accelerate as you approach the 100 zone sign, you will be fined.

    I could go on, but its clear than a huge number of cameras are designed to catch drivers out, raise revenue, and nothing more.

    Should we have them?

    In some locations, yes, with reasonable tolerances. For example there were people trying to break 200kmh through the sydney harbour tunnel. A camera there is a good idea, but don’t go booking people who have gone down the slop doing 86 in an 80 zone, that should not be what its about.

    The simple truth, not even my cruise control can control the speed of the car to the accuracy that the cameras can measure, so even setting that a a few KM h below the liming will ensure I am not booked on many of the cameras.

    October 25th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

  9. Barry Arnold says:

    I am in total agreement reference the “speed kills” mantra that is repeated ad nauseam by police and government. There are several things that kill, they are inattention, incompetence and inexperience. Inattention can only be corrected by advance driver training and the application of common sense, incompetence can be corrected by proper training. I know it is much easier to fly an aeroplane than drive a car ( there aren’t hundreds of people trying to kill you all the time in the air) however if the training and medical standards applied to obtaining a pilots licence were applied to drivers then many lives would be saved. Inexperience can unfortunately only be obtained by hours on the road, and taking into account the previously mentioned factors, too many people never get to live long enough to gain experience. You mentioned the Bathurst drivers, but forgot to mention the hours of training and practice (read experience) that is involved. Fighter pilots travel in thousands of kilometres per hour and live – why – medical and psychological fitness, training, practice and continuous checking by instructors to prevent bad habits creeping in. Applied these would address the problem far better than speed cameras. However all the above cost time and money, and do not raise revenue – strange that!

    October 25th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

  10. Michael says:

    Disclaimer : i have previously lost my licence for accumulated points, so it can be argued that i am too biased in this one… Still, i’m arrogant enough to think my thoughts count.

    While it is absolutely correct to say that it is the immediate stop rather than speed that kills, this does not provide sufficient argument to help change speed camera laws. Those cameras DO raise revenue, and they DO make the average driver think twice about their speed. These are fairly big pluses for the current system.

    In my case, my points were generally lost for being 5km to 19km over the limit, and that occurring on dual lane highways. i do a lot of kilometers in a year on metro roads that are favoured by the hidden camera operators. “Double demerits” for long weekends almost halved the number of offenses required to lose my licence.

    So here’s my point – am i a “safe” driver?

    i have heard people boasting of never having lost a point, as if that proves they are “safe” drivers. What if they rarely drive in areas with cameras? What if they only drive 10,000 or 15,000 kms a year? What if they are avid lane-changers/ tailgaters / lane-hogs/ inattentive or lazy drivers? As the article correctly states, speed is just one factor in determining “safe”.

    My vehicle of choice is a Ducati. On my lovely lady i am privy to all manner of ridiculous behaviour by lazy, distracted, uncaring drivers. It’s a rare day when some idiot isn’t trying to knock me off my bike. Yet there is every chance that those drivers have never lost a demerit point from a speed camera.

    For all of the arguments that we may come up with to prove that speed is only one factor in road safety, the fact remains that it is the cheapest and simplest to monitor and penalise. Those two reasons are powerful incentives to fall back on a “lowest common denominator” safety enforcement regime.

    Road statistics have improved for decades now. It is arguably safer to drive on roads today than at any time in the last 30 years – but “road safety” advertising would have you think the opposite as statistics are misrepresented.

    i would have more angst against the current system if i thought that there was the possibility of generating an honest, intellectual debate and sufficient funding to obtain true road safety. Unfortunately, “road safety” is subject to sound-byte catchphrases, tokenism and emotive calls to action that need simple messages that are easily digested.

    So my own approach is to try to stay within the limits and hope like hell that Google get their automatically controlled cars and driving systems onto our highways as fast as possible – i can guarantee that any such system would involve less road rage, better transit times, less traffic congestion and safer roads than anything achieveable by speed cameras hidden in trees on the side of wide open dual-lane highways fenced off from residential areas.

    October 25th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  11. Geoff says:

    Agree with most comments poor attitude and skills is common, unfortunatly speed is the easiest driving parameter to measure. European drivers are penalised heavily for poor driving habits on the autobahn, such as passing on the left (in our case), keeping to the left lane etc.. I believe $1000 first offence, loss of licence for 12 monthe for a 3rd offence. To change driver attitudes is something for the experts. The current emphasis on speed is not going to prepare our drivers of the future to handle the traffic volumes and conditions we can exoect in 20 years time. The present system is last century.

    October 25th, 2013 at 3:47 pm

  12. Paul says:

    Thanks for the Physics lesson, but Speed Cameras are a nuisance, hindrance, and will stop speeding as much as a Carbon Tax will stop Global warming. Let’s be frank! A switched on driver will drive at prevailing road conditions, even if somewhat speeding
    in the eyes of the Law and Posted Sign; know the Camera Spots by memory; slow down just before the road sensors, or in the vicinity of fixed cameras, and then continue driving as usual. So what do camera’s achieve? Did this stop him speeding? -NO. Did this change the driver’s attitude? -No? Will it stop him speeding again ? -NO. So what is the function of a Camera? Answer – Revenue raising tool of the Government, to catch unsuspecting drivers, who can least afford to pay the fines. And the idiots that slam on their brakes at the last minute at a Camera spot, and for those stupid enough to tail-gate them – CRASH or near miss! Give us a brake Barry! Turn off the Cameras; fix the Bl$%dy roads, and put the honets Police Patrols out there, doing their real job, in real visible Police cars, and stop robbing the Public with the Cameras save lives argument, because pigs don’t fly!

    October 25th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

  13. Ian says:

    I dislike the way speed cameras are used.
    If the governments (states) really want to use speed cameras to slow people down then put them every km on every road.
    That is the deterrent. We all go over the speed limit on occasion but I don’t believe intentionally. I think most people need reminding now and again.
    I use my cruise control all the time and it works well until you go from one speed limit to another on the same stretch of road and the if I don’t have my GPS turned on to remind me I some times exceed the speed limit as you do not always see the speed sign or it just does not register. We are after all just human.
    Sign post them and have a flashing light on top.
    That will slow people down and if you get caught then you are an idiot.
    I think the way speed cameras are used is to intentionally raise revenue under the guise of traffic control.

    October 25th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

  14. Tony says:

    I agree with Justin, although I’m an Australian. They sit in the fast lane on the highway, even though they aren’t overtaking and they very rarely give a signal when leaving a roundabout.

    October 25th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

  15. David says:

    Well the speed limits are constantly going down and you see classic examples of what is wrong with our road rules. For one on a multi lane road trucks, cranes (sometimes limited to 45kmh) , etc should never be allowed in the right lane. A lot of people who die vere on to the wrong side of the road, as driving along in a modern vehicle (post 1980′s) is a mundane experience and causes fatigue over long distances even at 100/110. Try driving a car at good speed and you are way more alert. Also if the limits were higher cars would be on the road for much less time, resulting in a lower peak hour and more distance between cars, as in peak the cars are generally tail gating and then the suddenly speed up and just as suddenly everything comes to a halt in front of them. People who drive slower than the limit because of sun glare, lack of confidence, old age etc. should stick to the left lane as I have seen quite a few accidents caused because someone brakes suddenly when the sun comes into there face. It is not speed that kills, except for young foolish drivers who do way over the limit on the wrong roads. We have some excellent Freeways, Toll Roads and on some of them they are limited to 90kmh or slower. Also they have these idiotic variable speed signs, so that if someone is mowing the median strip they change down as low as 40kmh. Speed kills is a myth and in my opinion is blatant revenue raising.

    October 25th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

  16. Kenneth Smith says:

    There is a stretch on the Sandgate Road North of Brisbane where the speed limit changes up or down at least 4 or 5 times between 70 and 90 kph in about 4km, the particular part of the road is dual carriageway and there is no obvious hazards to suggest that while some of that strip of highway has a 90kph limit, that in other relatively short stretches that a safe speed should be either 70 or 80kph.
    Surprise surprise, this stretch of road warrants a speed camera some 100 mtrs past a speed reduction sign. ( Quite a profitable one I understand)
    From my knowledge of this stretch of road it is just as safe at 90 kph as 70 kph, and taking into account the length of road in question, it should all be at one speed limit, rather than having frequent variations.
    Nothing will convince me that speed Camera is there for any other reason than revenue raising.
    As a final thought on Revenue Raising v Safety, if it is all about road safety and the Revenue is incidental, why is the projected earnings from speed cameras listed as a revenue stream in the State Budgets.

    October 25th, 2013 at 5:12 pm

  17. Pierre says:

    1- On measurements: Measuring a speed accurately also depends on the device which is doing the job, its position, the ambient temperature and humidity, the frequency of its calibrations, quite a complex set of parameters that I do no think any traffic enforcement officer – or tax collecting politician – is ready to take into account; but most of all…
    Is YOUR speeedo actually capable of measuring speed limits with a precision of less than 10km? But that is what you are fined upon isn’t it?
    Even the data provided by your GPS is not as reliable as you would think… It is not because a measurement device can show 3 decimal places that even the first one is actually correct!

    2- On the safety intent of law enforcement: If the rationale for speed cameras is safety, all cameras, all speed guns ought to be placed BEFORE and WELL in View of dangerous spots (schools, crossings, etc…) and WARNING FLASHES between drivers ought to be ENCOURAGED!!!

    3- On ever decreasing speed limits: They are often the ADMINISTRATIVE easy response of authorities too lazy and too greedy to actually spend the money to FIX roads and issues. When a kid kills himself at 150km/h, changing the speed limit to 90km/h WILL absolutely not change anything to the behaviour of the next fool.. . (GYMPIE, Qld) (but annoy and frustrate everyone else with the dangerous consequences quoted above). Yet it happens all the time, politicians think they look like ‘they do something about it’ , yet LAZY and INCOMPETENT are the decision makers on the subject.

    4-FINALLY on solutions – IF THE SPEED CONTROL WERE REALLY ABOUT SAFETY- there would be a mandatory controlling device mounted on every car- easy to make retrofitted on all cars over a 5 year plan- And for the price of a mobile phone or a GPS, or included in it, one’s car would PHYSICALLY not be able to go over the speed limit. Wether using sign recognition, beacons, satellite data or radio markers included on speed signs, there are millions of possibilities to develop a simple technology that has been with us for ten years at least.
    For maybe twenty years or more, institutions such as the RACQ have attempted to influence decision makers to have intelligent line markings or speed controlling devices on vehicles (max possible speed 110km/h) that all governments have been brushing off… Did I mention LAZY and INCOMPETENT?
    A note on mandatory speed control: if no car can go faster than 110km/h, the manufacturers will have to find other slants to attract consumers, such as… safety features, fuel consumptions, environmental impact… which have been such a long time coming…

    5- Your and my duty: is to keep hassling the politicians, reminding that we pay fines but we also vote.
    We are well aware that the present toughening of law enforcement in QLD for instance, will fund the excessively high pay rise of QLD MP’s. (oppositions seem awfully quiet about it, do they thing of their future??!)

    October 26th, 2013 at 8:10 am

  18. Matt says:

    Check out how many speed cameras and point to point cameras there are between urunga and macksville nsw.they do nothing at all except collect money.with all these cameras and speed zones reduced there’s still plenty of crashes ( not accidents) driver inattention and fatigue,drug & alcohol intake I would say are the most likely causes of crash in this area as the roads are in good condition.only this week a truck driver pulled over to take a break and another truck driver slammed into his stationery truck. The cameras did nothing to prevent this crash . A year or two ago a drunk ute driver crossed to the wrong side of the road into path of a semi which in turn slammed into a house and killed one occupent.both these crashes and many more are with in view of these so called safety cameras.And there will be people out there saying it was the road.we need a dual carriage way.WHAT I say will a dual carriage way do . Increase speeds and increase multi vehicle pile ups.

    October 26th, 2013 at 9:42 am

  19. Kenneth Smith says:

    Speed latitude allowed by the Speed camera system is both unfair and illogical, a latitude of 2 or 3 kph at 5o KPH is a 4-6% , while at 100KPH the latitude is halved, and is less than the potential speedometer error in many cars.
    Victoria allows 2 kph latitude which is both unfair and ludicrous, and forces drivers to constantly watch their speedometers, which is hardly conducive of keeping ones eyes on the road, and greatly increases the chance of most law abiding drivers of infringing.

    I have no disagreement with Cameras in School Zones and at accident black spots, and anyone caught speeding in a school zone deserves what they get, but it is time Governments cut the blatant hypocrisy and admitted it is just another overt cash grab from motorists, who have always been a reliable cash cow for government revenue.

    As I state below, Speed Camera revenue is an income line in State Budgets which belies the argument that it is all about road safety.

    October 26th, 2013 at 10:18 am

  20. Peter says:

    There is a simple test that can be applied to see if the government truly means it when it says speed cameras are not for revenue raising…allow the money to be paid to a charity of choice whenever someone is caught. If its truly not about revenue then don’t give the revenue to government.

    October 26th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

  21. Joel Williams says:

    Sure speed kills, in the wrong hands and in unavoidable circumstances. You can be doing 40kmh and still kill someone if they step out in front of you. The problem is the standard of peoples’ driving and the attention drivers pay when at the wheel. As soon as some drivers spot an obvious speed camera, even though they are under the speed limit, they hit the brakes, had they been observing the speed limit, there would be no need for this. Melbourne drivers are the worst in the world. I blame the licencing authorities for setting such low standards for obtaining a licence, and the police for not enforcing the law, ESPECIALLY – “KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING’.

    October 26th, 2013 at 9:21 pm

  22. Ajay Bakshi says:

    Recently I travelled to Spain and Portugal. Drove almost 5000 kms. The highways were flawless and absolutely smooth. Though the speed limit was 120 kms/ hr people were driving above 150 to 170 kms/hr and not even a single camera anywhere. They had speed radars where road works were being carried otherwise dint see a single camera anywhere. In 14 days I dint see a single accident. Fast and smooth traffic giving sides after over taking and absolutely safe driving.Drivers are more attentive at high speeds then in slow ones. I have 6 cars shared with 5 family members and all of them are in my and my wifes name. Never had any problem in the last 15 years in Australia but in the last 8 months we had fines worth $11,800 and both lost our driving licenses for 3 months. I have never had a single accident in the last 15 years since I moved here and never did drink driving and basically a very safe driver. I drove all over Portugal, Spain, London with not even a single scratch on any of the rental cars we hired. Australia has gone over board and sinking into the speed camera culture. We say the percentage of road accidents are going up. This is because of excessive speed regulations. Recently I got a ticket for being 15 kms above speed limit limit at the 80 km sign. Someone pl tell the Dept of Transport and our honorable traffic police that how they expect a driver to slam his brakes from 100 kms to 80 in 3 meters distance. Just after the curve an 80 km sign was there and a mobile camera van parked on the opposite side of the road with a camera on the 80 km sign. This we are talking of Bruce highway between Gladstone and Rockhampton. My X5 was on the 80km sign with a speed of 95 kms/hr. Got 4 demerit points and some $300 fine. If I had followed the sign there would have been series of accidents. All I can say is speed cameras are actually making the roads more dangerous than safer. Yes its a good option for the state Govt to fill their budget deficit by generating revenues the easy way.
    AJ

    October 26th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

  23. Harry says:

    Why don’t private fleet along with few industry colleagues start a petition to challange & review this govt. revenue increase scam, we people will happily support you..

    October 27th, 2013 at 8:27 am

  24. Russell Smith says:

    My two bob’s worth – pretty well everyone’s view is as valid as everyone else’s – and though we may not all agree on the detail, there is a great disparity between the “speed kills” propaganda and the “revenue raising” truth. Those propagandists and regulators do the community a gross disservice by perpetuating and expanding the “speed camera” epidemic. No such inanimate object “speed camera” whether mounted on a pole in clear sight or hidden in the bushes or in a vehicle can prevent a crash, or by any pseudo-scientific analysis (I have yet to see any scientific eveidence) even be acknowledged as lessening their incidence. Crashes are such multifactorial events that it defies all logic to claim otherwise – and to dishonestly ignore the direct revenue-raising result is an insult to all road users.
    As a driver of almost 50-years, I have been caught “speeding” 4 times, and on each occasion quite inadvertently just a few mph’s or kmh’s over the limit – whilst concentrating on DRIVING the car safely. I have had 3 prangs – all very low speed incidents with minimal damage and no injuries (other than extreme embarassment) – yet more damage in cost and severity has been done to my vehicles by random vandalism – plus two break-ins and three vehicle thefts – so clearly crime doesn’t take any holidays and various police forces have proven to be unable to keep up with it. “Clean-up” rates have been poor in my case, so I suppose its easy for police to endorse the soft options such as “speed cameras”.
    As a health professional I see the results of road trauma on a frequent basis, and separately I have seen severely injured people, including my own son who ran into a slow moving car on his bike – no “speed camera” could have affected the incident or the outcome – he’s ok and now he’s a driver trainer. And yes, like a lot of Bruce hwy users, the artificial speed limits +/- Gympie merely add to journey time and fatigue, adding in the “roadwork” limits – when the road may have actually been improved, but when there’s no actual “work” taking place gives rise to cars and trucks doing 100 in 40 zones, or tailgating those who observe the posted limits.
    As a pilot I was subject to stringent competency and medical criteria – which are not applied to learner and other drivers, other than sometimes due to ageing issues – but perhaps should be on a regular licence-renewal basis. (Nor do we let learner drivers go solo after 10 hours of experience/tuition as in aviation but thats another issue!) The aviation regulators require ongoing competency checks and recency of experience but the road regulators do not – and focus on “speed” vs safety.
    As a driving instructor (yes, many talents) and majority owner of a business with several cars and 4 other trainers, I and we try really hard to project a safety culture, but the bar to getting a drivers licence is set very low and even with a log-book system we suspect that some abuse the hour-requirements before booking their tests. Learners sometimes only want to find out how to pass a test – not how to drive safely – we try very hard to impose and improve standards of tuition and driver performance but young drivers are restricted but not re-assessed – maybe they should be, and maybe we all should be – the resources exist in aviation, industries and professions – so why not for drivers.
    In conclusion, we have been lied to and insulted by the authorities, the regulators, over “speed” and “speed cameras” and its about time they told the truth about revenue raising without any positive scientific evidence upon safety issues. Maybe a little more than two bob’s worth!
    PS – conflicts of interest – fast cars – Monaro afficionado – have had 5 over the years and soon about to sell the last one – so the driving school can expand!

    October 27th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

  25. Oliver says:

    Most of my Point’s are coverd above. Many Years ago they did the same thing in Germany , The People Voted and the cameras were shiped to good old AUS.
    It is also a Fact there were more accidents on the Autobahns between West and East back than. Research found the reasons was, after doing 130-180+ kmh , drivers fell asleep traveling at a low 100kmh. I have traveled at high speed over there and realised that i was much more allert than driving slow over long distance.
    They always claim a road toll figure, that is going down and our population ( and road user’s ) is going up big time. they should be patting us on the back. on eastlink (a very high quality Freeway) 100′s of fines are issued for over 100kmh, on the old and bumpy Calder freeway you can do 110kmh ??
    An earlier comment is correct, i bummped into the back of someone on wet tram tracks as as they all stopped on a camera. Put them were they should be.

    October 28th, 2013 at 11:39 am

  26. maparec says:

    around 75% of road fatalities in qld [ and i suspect other states ] occur in rural areas or on the urban highways. if you remove the stats relating to motorcyclists, hoons and pedestrians [ which seem to be unstoppable ] from the urban figures there is just not that many people dying on the roads where the majority of enforcement happens . every death is a tragedy and we must have a police presence but for the blue line to justify most of their revenue from an area which has such a small impact on the road toll proves it is revenue raising. if they really cared about peoples lives they would change the way the law is enforced and come up with a better system for rural areas, as the road conditions are obviously playing a large part in the yearly slaughter.

    October 28th, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  27. Peter East says:

    My problem is the reliability/accuracy of speed cameras. Twice I have entered a zone knowing there was a camera (1. My GPS chimed – warning me of one ahead and (2 a public minded motorist flashed me.
    On both occasions I was travelling at below the speed limit, but received infringement notices in the mail.
    Unfortunately, without proof, it is not worthwhile attending court to challenge them.
    There are devices such as dash mounted video cameras that record on an SD card the time, location and speed, and these can be replayed. Anybody doing extensive driving should buy one.
    I know that challenging accuracy of speed cameras is a bit like challenging the Christian dogma of the virgin birth, but on investigation I find that radar operates at a wavelength of about 10 mm. Compare this to visible light (about 0.0005 mm)
    10 mm wavelength EM radiation experiences significant diffraction. The beam, from my experience with using this wavelength diverges about 15 degrees.
    What this means is that the target may not be your vehicle, even though it is directed at you.
    It is also possible to photoshop those images they send you to remove other vehicles. This would allow authorities to multiply the revenue from speed cameras – which is their prime purpose.

    October 29th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

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