Govt pledges action on faulty speed cameras

Victorian Government pledges action on faulty speed cameras, including reimbursing drivers affected and holding camera operator accountable

By Ruza Zivkusic | October 20, 2010

The nine drivers affected by faulty point-to-point cameras on Hume Highway will have their penalties "rectified", Victoria Police Minister James Merlino says.

The drivers were among 68,000 motorists affected by the fault, which is the first of its kind and was discovered on Friday.

But the remaining motorists will not be refunded, Victoria Government spokesman Cameron Scott says.

Merlino has asked the Department of Justice and the company responsible for speed cameras, Redflex Traffic Systems, for an independent review of the work they have undertaken to help provide the public with "further reassurances of what their investigation has found".

It is unknown whether any truck drivers among the nine motorists affected.

The fault was identified after police served a notice to surrender to a driver who had been photographed on September 24.

The driver protested against the notice, prompting further investigation.

"No one deserves to be unfairly infringed and in the small number of cases identified, those penalties are being rectified which is the right thing to do," Merlino says.

"We need to ensure the integrity and public confidence in the camera system, they help change driver behaviour and help save lives and play a key role in road safety," he adds.

Police lawyers are examining the action they will take against Redflex, Merlino says.

"Victoria Police, the department and I were all in agreement the cameras needed to be switched off and the incorrect infringements rectified and repaid.

"These cameras will now be fixed and tested thoroughly before they go back online.

"Deputy Commissioner Ken Lay has to be satisfied with them before that occurs and that is appropriate."

The point-to-point system is used in several other states and also overseas.

The system takes time-stamped, digital photographs of all vehicles and works out the time taken to travel between one camera site and the next, with the distance between points several kilometres long.

The average speed is calculated by time-over distance. If it exceeds the speed limit, an infringement notice is issued.

The systems are designed to prevent drivers from slowing down when they see a camera and speeding up again after passing the camera, which is called ‘camera-surfing’.

The system in Victoria is only on the Hume Highway and has five camera sites, with both directions of travel covered.

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