Mixed reception for speed cameras as 0.7 million booked
With almost 700,000 Queenslanders booked for speeding last year, the government denies speed cameras are used mainly for revenue-raising.
Speed cameras brought in $69 million in revenue last year, while more than 110,000 people have been booked in the first two months of this year.
A Newsbytes street poll has found people divided about traffic cameras’ purpose.
One woman we interviewed said: “I think it’s all about revenue, it’s about making more money for the government.”
But the Transport and Main Roads Department says the issue is stopping road deaths.
“This isn’t about revenue raising but about saving lives,” a spokesperson said. “If you don’t go over the limit, you won’t be booked.
“The revenue from speed and red light cameras is minimal compared to cost speed-related crashes inflict on the community each year.”
In 2010-11, money from the camera detected offences helped fund $58,974 million, including road safety education and awareness programs, road accident injury rehabilitation programs and road funding to improve the safety of the sections of state-controlled roads where crashes happen most frequently.
“We make no apologies for wanting these numbers to drop. Every death on our roads is one death too many,” the spokesperson said.
Some in the community are cynical about the effectiveness of cameras.
“People just speed up after the camera anyway, it’s not really slowing people down,” one woman we interviewed said.
But a man said cameras were a very good idea as a way of improving public safety and motor vehicle safety.
The Queensland Camera Detected Offence Program involves a mix of mobile speed cameras, fixed speed cameras, red light cameras, combined red light/speed cameras and point-to-point speed camera systems.
The spokesperson said international experience showed a combination of education, enforcement and engineering initiatives could improve road safety.
“Together with the Queensland Police Service, we’re working on many different activities to reduce the potential for crashes, including speed management,” he said.
“It is an important component of the Queensland speed management strategy and overall approach to improving road safety in Queensland. The Camera Detected Offence Program has a proven record in reducing the road toll.
“Speeding is not, and will not be, tolerated on Queensland roads.”