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  1. #1
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    Default Melbourne,Victoria,Australia - Police want more speed cams

    Police call for more road cameras

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    By Mark Russell
    February 5, 2006
    Page 1 of 2
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    VICTORIAN drivers could be hit with more speed cameras under tougher measures being considered by the State Government, after a plea by the state's top traffic policeman to end the carnage on the roads.

    Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby said stricter measures were needed to prevent "a jumbo jet full" of people losing their lives each year.

    Mr Ashby said it was a dismal fact that people aged 16 to 25 were not heeding the road safety message, with many believing they were "invincible". "Drivers might hate the cameras but the fact is it's one of the initiatives which have seen the annual road toll drop to the mid-300s from more than 700 a year in the early 1990s," Mr Ashby said.

    Evidence from Victoria's newest speed cameras, on the Melbourne-Geelong road, paints an alarming picture of the scale of the problem.

    During a test period of just one week at the beginning of last month, 577 drivers were caught travelling at more than 25 km/h over the limit, including one car doing 207 km/h.

    Twenty-eight people have been killed on Victoria's roads so far this year. The latest fatalities yesterday were an 81-year-old woman in a two-car collision at Tatura and a 22-year-old motorcyclist who hit a tree in Werribee.

    Mr Ashby said increasing speed camera numbers was not about revenue-raising but helping to reduce the road toll.

    "There's no doubt fatalities have dropped by a significant amount each year as a consequence of cars slowing down because of speed cameras.

    "The challenge we face now is where do we go from here, because the fact is a jumbo jet full of people are still dying on our roads every year.

    "We've got to think about the future of cameras. We have to plan ahead for the new freeways such as EastLink the Mitcham-Frankston tollway opens in 2008 and we also need to discuss the broader utilisation of mobile cameras."

    Mr Ashby refused to reveal how many cameras were operating in Victoria. "We don't want people to think we have less than we actually have. I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, but I'd be happy if people thought there was a camera on every arterial road all the time."

    The speed camera issue was raised last week during the bi-monthly meeting of key government and transport figures, including Transport Minister Peter Batchelor, Police Minister Tim Holding, TAC Minister John Lenders, and the heads of both the TAC and VicRoads, who form part of a subcommittee of state cabinet set up to investigate ways to improve road safety.

    Police call for more road cameras

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    By Mark Russell
    February 5, 2006
    Page 2 of 2
    AdvertisementAdvertisement

    VICTORIAN drivers could be hit with more speed cameras under tougher measures being considered by the State Government, after a plea by the state's top traffic policeman to end the carnage on the roads.

    Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby said stricter measures were needed to prevent "a jumbo jet full" of people losing their lives each year.

    Mr Ashby said it was a dismal fact that people aged 16 to 25 were not heeding the road safety message, with many believing they were "invincible". "Drivers might hate the cameras but the fact is it's one of the initiatives which have seen the annual road toll drop to the mid-300s from more than 700 a year in the early 1990s," Mr Ashby said.

    Evidence from Victoria's newest speed cameras, on the Melbourne-Geelong road, paints an alarming picture of the scale of the problem.

    During a test period of just one week at the beginning of last month, 577 drivers were caught travelling at more than 25 km/h over the limit, including one car doing 207 km/h.

    Twenty-eight people have been killed on Victoria's roads so far this year. The latest fatalities yesterday were an 81-year-old woman in a two-car collision at Tatura and a 22-year-old motorcyclist who hit a tree in Werribee.

    Mr Ashby said increasing speed camera numbers was not about revenue-raising but helping to reduce the road toll.

    "There's no doubt fatalities have dropped by a significant amount each year as a consequence of cars slowing down because of speed cameras.

    "The challenge we face now is where do we go from here, because the fact is a jumbo jet full of people are still dying on our roads every year.

    "We've got to think about the future of cameras. We have to plan ahead for the new freeways such as EastLink the Mitcham-Frankston tollway opens in 2008 and we also need to discuss the broader utilisation of mobile cameras."

    Mr Ashby refused to reveal how many cameras were operating in Victoria. "We don't want people to think we have less than we actually have. I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, but I'd be happy if people thought there was a camera on every arterial road all the time."

    The speed camera issue was raised last week during the bi-monthly meeting of key government and transport figures, including Transport Minister Peter Batchelor, Police Minister Tim Holding, TAC Minister John Lenders, and the heads of both the TAC and VicRoads, who form part of a subcommittee of state cabinet set up to investigate ways to improve road safety.

    "It is a meeting that determines the best way forward to explore ways to reduce the road toll further, and the main issues included new technology (such as anti-skidding computer systems), anti-hoon legislation (to be introduced from July 1, giving police the power to seize cars), and enforcement. Do we expand traffic camera operations and in what way if we do?" Mr Ashby said.

    RACV public policy general manager Ken Ogden said the organisation did not have a problem with speed cameras as long as they were not used as revenue-raisers.
    "Our position is that cameras should be deployed at sites where there is a speed-related safety problem," he said.

    "If they are put on sites where there is no speed problem, it gives the public the wrong impression that they are not about safety but revenue."

    Mr Ashby said one of the most difficult road safety issues facing police today was trying to get the message across to young drivers about the dangers of speeding.

    When asked about the case of a 19-year-old learner driver caught by police last month travelling at 175 km/h on the Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Mount Martha with a blood alcohol reading of 0.061, Mr Ashby said: "Did it amaze me? No. Is it disappointing? Yes. Is it sad for the community? Yes.

    "There is unfortunately a very small percentage of the community who simply do what they want. They show a complete disregard for the safety of themselves and others. It is those type of people we really need to take off the roads for a long time."

    The apprentice chef arrested by police said he was running late for work.

    Of the 348 road deaths last year, 107 victims were aged between 16 and 25.

    State Government spokesman Andrew Eales said there needed to be a balanced approach to the measures used to curb the road toll.

    He said the State Government continued to take advice, including from Victoria Police, concerning the use of speed cameras, but that should not be seen as a panacea on the issue.

    ON CAMERA

    ■There are more than 2500 speed cameras in Victoria.

    ■Nine fixed digital red light cameras and one combined speed-red light camera operate in Melbourne.

    ■State Government revenue from speeding fines is expected to reach $324.2 million for 2005-06, up from $247.2 million the previous financial year.

    ■There is a gradual roll-out of new, high-tech cameras at 78 locations across Victoria.
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  2. #2
    Lead Foot
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    ON CAMERA

    ■There are more than 2500 speed cameras in Victoria

    This is actually the amount of sites, mobile speed cameras can be set up, there are approx 150 gatso speed cameras in Victoria....

 

 

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