While the police and private mobile speed camera operators police everything related to speeding, nobody polices their conduct.
During a road test through suburban Geelong, Victoria, CarAdvice encountered a mobile speed camera operator flouting the law, hypocritically booking motorists for speeding, while they themselves were breaking policy.
The operator established their vehicle on a steep stretch of road, outside of their designated work zone, working directly against the very policy that is claimed to be “fair, impartial and objectively administered in the community interest”.
Criteria 2b) of the Victorian Mobile Speed Camera Policy and Operations Manual says:
A site shall not be:
Descending down unsuitable gradients or within 300 metres of the bottom of a gradient or hill UNLESS the site has a significant speed related collision record;
Unsuitable gradient is defined as a slope that causes a vehicle in top gear (or drive) to increase indicated speed against maximum deceleration (NO BRAKE OR ACCELERATION) from a commencement speed at the top of the slope at the posted limit.
Despite the very clear wording, the speed camera operator continued to operate until we starting taking photographs. Directly after the photographs were taken, the operator packed up and left.
This incident follows from another case reported by CarAdvice in November, 2007, where a mobile speed camera operator was nestled within bushes, causing a traffic hazard for motorists stopping in the emergency lane.
The vehicle nestled in the bushes also directly contravened the Victorian Mobile Speed Camera Policy and Operations Manual, working against the section relating to Camera Concealment and Disguise:
To maintain community confidence in the mobile speed camera initiative, it is important for the operational use of the device to be seen as fair and reasonable. Under no circumstances are camera vehicles, tripods or portable flash units (when used) to be disguised by signs, logos, breakdown of vehicle (eg. boot open or spare wheel / jack visible etc), tree branches, lamp posts, rubbish bins or any other covert means.
These acts of callous law breaking go unheard until pictures like these surface. There is no body that polices the conduct of mobile speed camera operators and the question has to be asked, how many speeding fines have been illegally issued based on obvious breaches of the Victorian Mobile Speed Camera Policy and Operations Manual?