MOTORISTS will no longer be told the location of the state's 17 mobile Multanova speed cameras under a controversial new proposal by police and the WA Road Safety Council.
Assistant Traffic Commissioner John McRoberts said yesterday that police had no choice but to look at tough new measures in the wake of alarming road-toll figures that showed 128 West Australians died on WA roads this year -- 22 more than at this time in 2005.
Defending police against Opposition claims that not disclosing speed-camera sites was a ploy to add to the $30 million collected from red-light cameras and Multanova fines each year, Mr McRoberts said driver stupidity had forced police to take drastic steps.
``This will generate enormous public debate. Some will be in favour, others will not -- but the challenge I have is to reduce the road toll,'' he said.
``We are doing it for the right reasons. We want to stop people getting killed on our roads and it has nothing to do with revenue raising. Multanova fines are a voluntary tax. If you don't speed, you don't pay.
``Coles and Myer don't announce at the front door that, `The person in the red jacket is a security detective so be careful'. So why should I tell people where speed cameras are so that they speed anywhere but at those locations (where they know the speed cameras are)?''
This week, police gave The Sunday Times figures that painted a disturbing picture of driver stupidity on WA roads.
About 30 of the 128 people who died on WA roads were not wearing seat belts; speed and alcohol were blamed for 35 fatal crashes; 97 crashes were on dry roads; 54 were on straight roads and most crashes occurred in daylight and on Sundays.
Most of the dead were aged 17-24.
According to a Road Safety Council report, nine out of 10 West Australians support the use of Multanovas to detect and fine drivers who speed.
But Opposition road safety spokesman John McGrath said not disclosing the location of cameras would be met with cynicism by the community.
``If they drop the advertising of Multanovas it will be seen as a revenue-raising exercise,'' Mr McGrath said.
``As it is, I don't think the Multanovas are going into the right places. They're being put in areas where there are high traffic volumes rather than in high-risk areas.''
Mr McRoberts hopes to stop disclosing the loaction of the Multanovas by Christmas -- a proposal endorsed by the Road Safety Council this week -- and further discussions will take place with Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan in the next fortnight.
Mr McRoberts said it was a police decision and did not need Government approval.
Premier Alan Carpenter this week implored West Australians to take responsibility for their driving behaviour.
``We can't make people listen. I am asking people to take responsibility. Listen to what's being told,'' he said.
``Look at the tragic deaths that are happening on our roads. Don't be one of them.'