THE "new weapon in the State Government's arsenal to reduce the road toll" is shooting blanks.
The first of the state's new fixed roadside speed cameras - installed last July near the Bakewell Underpass, at Mile End - has never been switched on.
A bureaucratic standoff between Adelaide City Council and the Transport Department - over the seemingly mundane issue of parking - has left the camera inoperable.
The impasse has meant speeding motorists heading west through the underpass are doing so with impunity.
Even a trial of the fixed speed camera - proudly announced last July by Road Safety Minister Michael O'Brien - has never taken place.
The issue arose after the council refused a request by the Transport Department to build a parking bay next to the camera so technicians could safely park and service the unit to retrieve digital images of speeding motorists.
Mr O'Brien confirmed on Friday the camera could not be turned on until "all the necessary operational and safety requirements are met".
Assistant Police Commissioner Bronwyn Killmier said the Transport Department was responsible for ensuring SAPOL staff had "safe access to the site for the purpose of maintenance and calibration of the cameras".
"The Bakewell site does not provide this in its current configuration," she said. SAPOL did not respond when asked why staff couldn't temporarily park on a nearby verge or walk to the site. Council spokeswoman Angela Orchard said the department's parking bay request was refused because it "would be used infrequently".
The Bakewell Underpass camera was supposed to be the first of 20 such units to be rolled out this year at roadside black spots around the state, such as The Parade, Norwood, Gorge Rd, in the Adelaide Hills, and the Victor Harbor Rd.
Mr O'Brien said last year the new cameras - unlike the existing 82 speed and red light intersection cameras - could be moved to "anywhere we have an issue with fatalities and serious casualties". The cameras "will provide a new weapon in the State Government's arsenal to reduce the road toll".
Mr O'Brien said the underpass approach was chosen first because Transport Department research showed more than half of 56,202 motorists recorded driving west through the underpass in a seven-day period were speeding.
On Friday, a passerby told a Sunday Mail photographer at the underpass not to publicise the fact the camera was not working "because me and my mates love hooning down here".
The Pedestrian Council of Australia said fixed roadside cameras had been operating in NSW for a decade and had proved to be "life savers".
"SA motorists should be outraged at this delay because there has been no fatality at any of the sites fixed cameras have been installed in NSW," said its chairman, Harold Scruby.
The Transport Department has submitted a "revised plan" for servicing the underpass camera.
Editorial, Page 62