RTA oversight leads to loss of speed camera revenue

RTA forgets routine maintenance on Lane Cove Tunnel speed cameras, leading to $32,000 in lost revenue

By Brad Gardner | June 20, 2011

Motorists recently caught speeding through the Lane Cove Tunnel in Sydney will have their fines and demerit points wiped after a cock-up from the Roads and Traffic Authority.

The department forgot to certify the eastbound and westbound fixed speed cameras by the due date of March 14 this year.

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay only became aware of the oversight earlier this month and ordered all infringements detected by the cameras to be held until the work was carried out.

"Although the cameras were working correctly, they were not certified. Therefore, approximately $32,000 in penalties will be refunded in full and demerit points will be reinstated to motorists who were affected by the mishap," he says.

The RTA initially held infringements on the westbound camera only, meaning eastbound motorists continued to receive fines until Gay again stepped in to order the department to immediately calibrate the devices.

The minister says an electronic device has since been installed to remind the RTA to conduct routine maintenance in future.

"I made the point in no uncertain terms to the Roads and Traffic Authority that such areas and oversights frankly are not up to the authority’s usual standard," Gay says.

He says about 860 motorists were caught speeding by the eastbound camera when it was supposed to be shut down, with about 160 paying fines.

Meanwhile, Gay will task the RTA with looking at erecting a sign outside the M5 East Tunnel warning of air pollution.

During parliamentary proceedings last week, Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann asked Gay if he would act on a Department of Health recommendation for motorists using the tunnel to wind up the windows of their vehicles and switch the ventilation system to recirculate.

"For a long time, people have been concerned about the M5 tunnel," Gay says.

"I know when I travel through the tunnel I wind up the windows and change the vehicle’s ventilation system to recycling."

He says a $65 million filtration trial is currently underway at the western end of the westbound M5 East Tunnel. The 18-month trial began in March last year.

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