Editor's Note (23/12/07): CarAdvice is still waiting to hear back from the Victorian Department of Justice. The letter sent out on behalf of CarAdvice to the Victorian Department of Justice has permitted for a 14 business day response time. The Victorian Police on the other hand have responded.Although they won't permit us to reproduce the e-mail online, the media liaison has called CarAdvice a "biased editorial," we have also "made no attempt to include include any facts" in the article outlined below - according to the media liaison. So, much like yourselves, we are yet to determine exactly why a Police vehicle was inhibiting the flow of pedestrians and cyclists, making it dangerous for their passage.The only response we were permitted to publish is the following, courtesy of Natalie Webster, the Media Officer for Victoria Police, "The only response we will provide for you to publish is that anyone who seeks further information on traffic camera operations can find it on our website at http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=10366." If any of our readers have any luck finding the section about Police vehicles causing unsafe passage for members of the public, please e-mail us, as we are yet to determine the need or reason for the vehicle's position.Editor's Note (05/12/07): CarAdvice is awaiting written response from the Victorian Department of Justice with regards to the concealment of a mobile speed camera. CarAdvice is also currently awaiting a response from the Victorian Police with regards to the Police vehicle being positioned on a footpath. We aim to keep you posted with developments as they come to hand.
Have you ever had to pull over on the highway? Be it for a telephone call, a flat tyre, or maybe even because you had run out of petrol?
During a recent road test, a tyre had managed to go flat while driving on a stretch of highway just outside of Melbourne. So the logical thing to do was pull over as far to the left as possible and take the old tyre off and replace it with a spare.
Pulling off the highway, I received the absolute shock of my life when a Toyota Corolla appeared out of nowhere. I received an even greater shock when I realised it was a mobile speed camera operator who had parked the vehicle behind a set of trees, virtually invisible to all drivers on the road, right up until the point at which they are side-by-side with the vehicle.
Not only was the positioning of this mobile speed camera unsafe, it was also in direct contravention of the "Victorian Police Traffic Camera Office Mobile Speed Camera Policy and Operations Manual." The aforementioned document can be sourced here.
Of particular concern is the final section of the document detailing the information below (see page 11 of Mobile Speed Camera Policy and Operations Manual, under the section titled "Camera Concealment/Disguise.")
Camera Concealment/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), tree branches, lamp posts, rubbish bins or any other covert means.
The operator of the mobile speed camera has clearly broken the operational guidelines issued by the Victorian Department of Justice. CarAdvice would like to see all fines issued by the mobile speed camera in question refunded immediately and the site removed from the register. It begs the question, how many more illegal sites like these are in use? How many unsuspecting individuals is the Victorian Government robbing each and every day?
The other issue that has ruffled feathers today is the astonishing use of a speed radar on a public footpath - right outside a sporting facility and convention of people for an event. The undercover Police vehicle pictured is blocking enough of the footpath to make it hard for a cyclist to get through - even causing them to fumble past.
Matters were made even worse when the occupying plain-clothed Police officer got out of the car and questioned our photographer. The officer started getting quite rowdy when the photographer informed him of his legal right to take photos on public property. The officer also refused to believe he was blocking the footpath with his vehicle and claimed that (after flashing his badge) he could do as he pleased - because he was a Police officer.
So next time you're out riding your bike, or going for a stroll, please make sure you watch out for cars parked on the footpath on official...life saving...Police business.