Speed cams ban
Brendan Roberts

Assaults on operators force company's hand
MOBILE speed cameras will be switched off after 8pm across the state after a string of attacks on camera operators.

Police Minister Tim Holding yesterday announced that private speed camera operator Tenix would reduce its night operations by three hours, ending at 8pm instead of 11pm from today.

Police radar guns and fixed speed cameras, however, will continue to operate around the clock.

The Opposition yesterday slammed the decision, saying it could lead to the deaths of more young drivers.

Mr Holding said attacks on camera operators had led to the temporary wind-down.

In the most recent attack last week a speed camera worker was threatened and a brick thrown through the window of his car as he sat inside.

The incident, about 8.45pm on Canterbury Rd, Blackburn, left the operator covered in glass and suffering cuts, grazes and shock.

"The Government condemns utterly any member of the public who tries to take the law into their own hands by attacking Tenix operators," Mr Holding said.

"They have a very tough job to do.

"The work that they do in operating speed cameras around the state is part of our road safety strategy. We understand Tenix has taken action in terms of withdrawing the program from after 8pm as a temporary measure.

"Police members will still be able to operate radar guns to make sure that speeding motorists don't take advantage of that period."

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said young drivers would see the move as a green light to speed.

"Previously, speed camera operators worked from 5am to 11pm, there was a big gap overnight and this is where most young people were dying on our roads. This gap has just increased by three hours," he said.

"Young people won't take long to realise from 8pm onwards it's a no speed-camera zone and that's a worry."

Mr Mulder said the decision would leave a dent in the Government's revenue that would most likely be filled by the allocation of more speed cameras to busy roads at peak times.

A Tenix spokesman said the operator would talk to Victoria Police and the Government on permanent measures to protect speed camera operators from motorists.