More speed traps
By TREVOR PADDENBURG
WA motorists could be stung with $17 million a year more in fines under a State Government plan to buy more Multanovas.
Police have asked for four extra speed cameras to combat what they say is the appalling behaviour of WA drivers.
It would bring the number of cameras in WA to 18.
Opponents have criticised Multanovas, saying they are deployed to raise revenue.
Police Minister John D'Orazio told The Sunday Times funding for the extra speed cameras would be in the May Budget.
Earlier this year, Mr D'Orazio said he planned to buy as many as six more cameras to use in school zones.
Multanovas cost $110,000 each. But new-age digital cameras, which cost about half as much, are likely to be the preferred option.
WA's 14 Multanovas take about 900,000 photos of speeding motorists a year with 420,000 infringements issued, according to police.
On a busy road with many speeding motorists, a camera can take three photos every two seconds.
Mr D'Orazio estimated the extra cameras would raise $17 million in their first year.
Sen-Sgt Carl Fisher, the officer in charge of Multanovas, blasted the idea that police used the cameras for revenue raising.
"The easiest way to beat a Multanova is to take your foot off the accelerator," he said. "It's as simple as that.
"We're not revenue raising. We're about deterring offenders.
"For everyone who whinges about speed cameras, we get twice as many who ring us up and ask us to come and put one in their street to slow people down."
Sen-Sgt Fisher said 14 cameras for a state the size of WA were a "very minor" resource and extra cameras were needed.
Mr D'Orazio has said any revenue raised from speed cameras in school zones would be spent on road safety for children.
"Stopping speeding is the first priority, but I would also like to see all revenue raised from cameras in school zones used to fund safety measures around schools," he said.
"This could help fund increasing demand for traffic wardens and also provide funding for other road-safety projects such as pelican crossings around schools."
In the first three days of the 2006 school year, 1529 motorists were caught speeding in school zones.
The worst case was a 27-year-old man driving at 132km/h.