Faults foil new speed 'spies'
Nigel Hunt

ALL of Adelaide's new hi-tech digital red light speed cameras have been withdrawn from service.

German manufacturer Robot recalled the entire complement of 19 cameras on Tuesday after attempts to fix a software problem that has delayed their introduction proved fruitless.

A team of engineers from Robot has been in Adelaide since February trying to repair faults identified during testing of the first 10 cameras that arrived last June.

The final shipment of nine cameras, which arrived in November, are also believed to be faulty.

There have been no fines for motorists caught by the cameras because they were still in their testing phase.

The faults involve intermittent glitches in the sending of data from the cameras to SAPOL's red light camera unit for processing.

Since early March, Robot has loaned SAPOL 10 wet-film cameras while it attempted to fix the digital cameras, which are worth almost $2 million.

The digital cameras will now be taken back to Germany for the replacement of hard drive systems and extensive testing.

As a result, Robot will now source another 10 wet-film cameras to ensure SAPOL has a full contingent while the digital cameras are being repaired.

The measure will not cost the State Government anything because the repairs are covered under warranty.

Department of Transport metropolitan operations director Flett Steele said yesterday it was disappointing "we are now at a stage the cameras need to be recalled".

"They have suffered both software and hardware problems since the beginning of the trial, but it seems they are still not rectified," he said.

"Experts from Germany spent February and March in Adelaide working on the cameras but the glitches continue to cause problems.

"We have been able to secure a promise of 10 additional wet-film cameras from the company, which means we will have one extra camera to monitor metropolitan locations.

"Robot has advised they do not expect to have the cameras fixed and back in Adelaide before the end of this financial year."

Mr Steele said he hoped to have more information from the manufacturers in coming weeks.

SAPOL business services director Denis Patriarca yesterday said that during the testing phase the digital cameras were not deployed for enforcement.

"No infringements were issued," he said. "SAPOL has not, and will not, issue any notices to vehicles detected by the new cameras until they have been acceptance tested and then commissioned for operation.

"The faults with the 19 cameras were to do with the hardware configuration.

"The manufacturer has made some alterations to the cameras and they were tested and failed."