Operators of mobile speed cameras in South Australia will now receive an added layer of protection from would be vigilantes.
A protective coating on the glass of operator’s vehicles – preventing the windows from shattering – will be implemented in the hope of reducing potential injury following a recent spate of rock throwing by motorists.
In addition to the glass protection, warning signs will also be removed making the speed cameras virtually invisible to the naked eye.
Public Service Association general secretary Jan McMahon said she was pleased the safety of camera operators was being addressed but disappointed about how long police had taken to act.
“We wrote to (police) on April 2 and we’ve only got this response since members started taking (industrial) action,” she said.
“Over the past seven days, the PSA is aware of two incidents involving rocks being thrown at cars that PSA members were in.
“In one case, an operator was checked for glass in his eyes at hospital.
“Clearly the lost revenue must have been the trigger for (police) to provide us with the safety that we should have had months ago.”
On the other hand though, RAA principal engineer Peter Tsokas said the removal of camera signs was concerning.
“The RAA would prefer the signs remained because they have an immediate impact on motorists,” he said.
“If a driver passes a speed camera and then sees a sign, that can make them alter their driving behaviour by slowing down. On the other hand, if they don’t see a sign, the first they will know about it will be eight or more days later when they get the fine.”
South Australia’s Traffic Camera Uni (TCU) has told CarAdvice that it operates 18 cameras across South Australia and has netted 24,000 motorists between July 1st, 2008 and April 30th, 2009. That’s an average of 1333 per camera vehicle, or 41 motorists for each camera vehicle site.
The one thing both bodies fail to admit though is that the ‘Speed Kills’ campaign seldom explains that exceeding the speed limit has never been the sole factor behind any fatal or non-fatal car accidents. The only visible benefit of speed cameras is to generate revenue and attempt to slow drivers down, forgetting the all important factor of driver education and training.