I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Industry, Trade and Regional Development, representing the Minister for Police, a question regarding fixed speed cameras.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The difficulties with the Victorian government’s fixed speed cameras were recently fully exposed on the 7.30 Report. The piece detailed the experience of the owner of a Datsun 120Y who received a $430 fine for driving at 158 km/h.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Exactly. The only problem was that the car was found to be unable to travel at speeds higher than 117 km/h. After a number of similar complaints were received, the government was forced to admit that there might be a problem with the accuracy of the units. It has since been forced to agree that it will reimburse some 90 000 fined motorists at a cost of $14 million and establish a $6 million fund for motorists seeking compensation for hardship due to incorrect licence cancellations.
I note that in a reply to the shadow police minister on 13 November 2003 in another place, the Minister for Police refused to rule out fixed speed cameras in South Australia.
I note also that, in its latest budget papers, the government expects fines revenue to increase by 42 per cent from $55 million to $78 million. My questions are:
1. Has the government considered, is it currently considering or will it rule out the use of fixed speed cameras in this state?
2. If the government does intend introducing fixed speed cameras, will it guarantee that sufficient time is provided for testing, instead of rushing the cameras into operation and having to repay motorists after the event, as took place in Victoria?
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Industry, Trade and Regional Development): I will take that question on notice and get the Minister for Police to bring back a reply. I note in the question that the honourable member spoke about fixed speed cameras. The government has announced that it will be looking at using red light cameras, which are fixed. I am not sure whether she had those in mind or whether it is just the fixed cameras that are used in other states. If the honourable member wishes to clarify that, it might make it easier for the Minister for Police to answer. I will endeavour to get what information I can from the Minister for Police and bring back a reply.
Monday 4 April 2005
In reply to The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (24 June 2004).
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: The Minister for Police has provided the following information:
1. The speed function of fixed red light cameras has been activated at proclaimed sites since 15 December 2003.
2. Prior to implementation, all proclaimed sites for fixed speed / red light cameras were calibrated and tested by means of runthrough testing to ensure accuracy of operation. The South Australian regime for testing fixed speed cameras is prescribed by the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 1999 and is required to be undertaken every seven (7) days. SAPOL has adopted a best practice approach to testing, exceeding the minimum requirements of the regulations.