More mobile speed cameras will be deployed on Victoria’s roads at night as a result of the Auditor-General’s largely positive inquiry into the effectiveness of cameras in improving road safety.

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Victorian Auditor-General, Des Pearson, said there were discernible patterns to the deployment of mobile cameras at night as well as gaps in their coverage that needed to be amended.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Neville Taylor reacted swiftly to Mr Pearson’s recommendations, vowing to deploy more cameras at night in accordance with the report’s findings.

Overall, the ‘Road Camera Safety Program: Victorian Auditor-General’s Report’ found Victoria’s speed cameras and red-light cameras were being used primarily to improve road safety.

“Any program that aims to deter dangerous and risky behaviour through the use of fines will generate revenue, but this is demonstrably not the primary purpose of the road safety camera program,” the report said.

Mr Pearson said more needed to be done to strengthen the public’s perception of the integrity and purpose of speed cameras. He suggested this could be achieved through greater public education as well as regular independent testing of fixed and mobile cameras.

“While there can be no absolute guarantee over the accuracy of any system, the processes and controls in place provide a particularly high level of confidence in the reliability and integrity of the road safety camera system.”

 

Mr Pearson’s inquiry was different in nature to the one conducted by New South Wales Auditor-General, Peter Achterstraat.

Mr Achterstraat’s report, published late last month, found 38 of the NSW Government’s 141 fixed speed cameras were doing little to enhance road safety. Roads Minister Duncan Gay switched off all 38 cameras on the morning of the report’s release.

Some statistics from Mr Pearson’s report:

  • In 2010, there were 4503 crashes on public roads in Victoria that resulted in fatalities or serious injuries, including 288 deaths
  • Road trauma costs the Victorian economy an estimated $3.8 billion per year
  • Speeding is identified as the primary cause of about one third of road casualties each year
  • Crashes at major metropolitan intersections account for around 20 per cent of all fatal and serious injury crashes
  • In the 2009-2010 financial year, 1.3 million fines were issued for speeding and red-light offences in Victoria, amounting to $211.3 million in revenue, which was 0.47 per cent of the total general government revenue for 2009-2010

What do you think of the Mr Pearson’s report and its recommendations? Do you agree that more mobile speed cameras at night will improve road safety in Victoria? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.