New speed cameras twice as effective
20th April 2007, 7:00 WST
New high-tech speed cameras which could see the number of speeding tickets double are being tested on Perth’s streets as police consider several new models that will also allow speeding motorcyclists to be caught for the first time.
Police advertised a tender last year for cameras that would finally be able to photograph speeding vehicles from behind in an attempt to put an end to the free ride for motorcycles, which have only rear number plates.
But the new cameras, tested on the Mitchell Freeway on Wednesday, could also double the number of cars that are checked because the cameras supplied by one of the leading bidders can detect and photograph vehicles going in both directions.
Cameras supplied by German company Vitronic can take speed measurements across four lanes of traffic in both directions using laser technology which is understood to have been developed for military use.
It can take digital photographs from the front and the rear, which can then be reproduced on the speeding ticket.
While the tender closed in December, police would not comment on the process yesterday and have previously stated they hoped the new cameras would be on the streets by July. They expected the cameras to cost $75,000 each, though it is not known how many will be bought.
Figures released by former police minister Michelle Roberts in 2005 showed police estimated more than 18,000 speeding motorcyclists were photographed by speed cameras each year.
The tickets were all written off until last year when police introduced a companion system which used a video camera next to speed cameras to capture footage of speeding motorcyclists.
State Government plans to force riders to fit front identifiers to their machines have been hampered by researchers who have not been able to come up with a number plate that would suit the many different motorcycle styles.