http://www.news.com.au/national/vic...rt-him-to-issues/story-fnii5sms-1227099092207 TRAFFIC camera commissioner Gordon Lewis has backed higher speed limits on some Victorian highways. He also used a live blog with Herald Sun readers (see below) to call on Victoria Police to display greater transparency about why they put speed cameras in particular places. Mr Lewis said he believed some cameras were being sited unfairly. Asked online if he supported higher speed limits on highways he gave qualified support to the idea of increasing the speed motorists can travel at. “If it can be demonstrated that a higher permitted speed limit did not lend itself to any increase in the road toll along that highway, I can’t see why not,” Mr Lewis told the blog questioner. “However, I would support point-to-point cameras along those highways, lest the increased speed limit goes to the heads of some motorists.” Mr Lewis told another blogger he supported the idea of more point-to-point cameras being installed on Victoria’s roads. “I think that it is the fairest way of determining excessive speed,” he said. “Many motorists write to me complaining that they are the victim of a lapse in concentration, which I can understand. “However, a lapse of concentration over some kilometres is far more difficult to explain.” Mr Lewis rejected a claim by another Herald Sun blogger that speed cameras were more revenue raisers than life savers – but he said Victoria Police should provide more details as to why cameras were placed in particular locations to help emphasise the lifesaving aspect of cameras. “I don’t believe that there is an emphasis on revenue raising,” he said. “I do believe that the camera program is directed at excessive speed and safe driving at intersections. “However, I would like to see Victoria Police provide more comprehensive information about why particular sites are chosen for both fixed and mobile camera use, because only through that transparency will there be public trust.” Mr Lewis said Victoria Police were allowed to conceal speed cameras in some circumstances. “I personally favour overt mobile cameras,” he said. “But the Victoria Police guidelines do not preclude mobile cameras being obscured where there is a demonstrated occupational hazard to camera operators. “The situation is best summed up by the Victoria Police policy, that where practical, the cameras should be visible, as long as it is safe for the operator.” Mr Lewis also defended his independence after a blogger asked how Victorians could be sure he was truly independent when he was appointed by the State Government and paid by the State Government. “I was a judge for 18 years before I became the Road Safety Camera Commissioner, and accordingly was used to total independence,” he said “When I was offered this job, which is paid by the State Government, I stipulated that I would not tolerate any interference with my statutory independence. “Further, in the last two and a half years, the amount of refunds made by the State Government to motorists bear witness to that independence.” Mr Lewis was asked if he supported the idea of painting speed cameras bright colours, as happens in the UK. “I have recently been in the UK and their fixed cameras are indeed painted yellow,” Mr Lewis said. “However, statistics show that brightly coloured speed cameras do not make an iota of difference to the level of infringements issued by the relevant constabularies. “Dull grey does just as well! “In Victoria, all fixed road safety cameras do have warning signs to alert motorists of their presence.” EDITORIAL: SPEED CAMERAS NOT SO SECRET Herald Sun readers unable to join in with their traffic camera queries today should email them to Mr Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or post Locked Bag 14, Collins St East, Melbourne 8003. email@example.com Originally published as Traffic cam watchdog backs higher speeds Also at; http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/la...rt-him-to-issues/story-fni0fee2-1227099092207 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Read the spin in the blog, it's astonishing. It's also enlightening to read one of the articles referenced by one of the blog contributors. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...r-accidents-figures-reveal.html#ixzz3Gv17gy42 And from two days earlier; http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/op...o-secret-cameras/story-fni0ffsx-1227099058696 Transparency makes for not so secret cameras Herald Sun October 22, 2014 9:36PM THE bad old days of speed cameras being shrouded in secrecy are, thankfully, gone. That’s largely due to the efforts of traffic camera watchdog Gordon Lewis. The former County Court judge has brought a welcome level of transparency to Victoria’s speed and red light camera system since his 2012 appointment as Australia’s first independent traffic camera commissioner. Before he got the job, the secrecy surrounding speed cameras led to motorists distrusting them, having doubts about their accuracy and dismissing them as revenue-raisers rather than lifesavers. Mr Lewis has made it his job to try to change those perceptions by introducing an openness and transparency around speed cameras that didn’t previously exist. New powers he has just been given will make the system even more transparent, which is to be applauded. The Road Safety Camera Commissioner Act was this week amended to give Mr Lewis the power to answer traffic camera questions from the public. He asked the State Government for this new power because no other agency was offering such a service and he felt motorists should have a body to go to with whatever queries they had about the cameras. Mr Lewis is today appealing to Herald Sun readers to write to him with any queries or complaints they have about any aspect of Victoria’s speed and red light camera system. He is today also taking questions from Herald Sun readers during a live blog at heraldsun.com.au from noon. Mr Lewis’s blog and offer to answer written questions are chances for Herald Sun readers to raise any issues of concern. Readers can ask about how and when they can apply for their speeding fine to be waived and replaced with an official warning. Mr Lewis is also prepared to offer advice to motorists on whether they have grounds to contest their speeding fines in court. He expects to be able to shatter many speed camera urban myths. Mr Lewis has shown he is truly independent during his time in the job by making decisions that didn’t please the Government or police. It is due to his repeated recommendations that the Napthine Government has finally agreed to provide free copies of speed and red light camera photographs. Victoria was previously the only state that charged motorists for the snaps. Mr Lewis has also been responsible for having thousands of traffic fines scrapped after his office identified faults or unfairness in the issuing of them. As the Herald Sun reveals today, Mr Lewis is again sticking his neck out by criticising police for placing a mobile speed camera just around a bend at the top of a hill, which he believes is unfair.