"Speeding Victorian motorists will be fined using radical new point-to-point fixed speed cameras by the end of the year under the new offence of exceeding the limit by an average speed, the State Government has revealed." ...... http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/02/26/1109180168095.html http://www.theage.com.au/media/2005/02/27/1109180171108.html --------------------------------- Fines roll in from new speed trap By Jason Dowling State Politics February 27, 2005 Speeding Victorian motorists will be fined using radical new point-to-point fixed speed cameras by the end of the year under the new offence of exceeding the limit by an average speed, the State Government has revealed. Police have also confirmed to The Sunday Age that 27 truck drivers were caught speeding on the Hume Highway in December and January using existing point-to-point technology - known as an "electrotecter" - fixed to police cars. At this stage it is believed there will be four point-to-point gantries on the Hume Highway recording a motorist's average speed. The equipment will mean that even if a motorist is below the speed limit when they pass the camera, they could receive a fine if they were speeding between cameras. Legislation enabling police to fine motorists for exceeding the average speed over a set distance was passed in the Victorian Parliament in December 2003. The Government, which made almost $170 million from speeding fines last year, has confirmed it has signed the contract for the new point-to-point cameras and they are likely to be spread between Craigieburn and Wodonga. AdvertisementAdvertisement Police said they were concerned by the results of one operation, where 80 heavy trucks using the Hume Highway between 3am and 5am were recorded travelling at an average speed of between 105 and 118 km/h. The legal speed limit for trucks on the road is 100 km/h. Police Minister Tim Holding said that under the new system a motorist would receive only one average speed fine for their entire journey, regardless of whether they exited the highway in Kilmore or Wodonga. "What we have basically said is that you will be (fined) once for that journey," he said. Mr Holding has not ruled out the use of the cameras for on-the-spot fines and said that was an issue he would discuss with police. Under such a proposal, a motorist could lose their licence in one trip and face hundreds of dollars in speeding fines. "Speed cameras are spread around our road network . . . if you went through two or three fixed speed cameras and got pinged on every one, you would get three infringements and that's how it should be," he said. Concern has already been raised about the introduction of multiple speed cameras on the newly completed Geelong road upgrade, with motorists potentially losing their licence in one trip. With the new speed cameras on the Geelong road and Hume Highway, and the reintroduction of speed cameras on the Western Ring Road and the West Gate Freeway expected later in the year, the Government is set for a large revenue windfall. Cameras on the CityLink and Monash Freeway became operational again on December 1. More than a million speeding tickets were processed last year, boosting state revenue by $167 million. Last financial year the Government collected $233.5 million for all police fines, and it has forecast collecting up to $350.5 million this financial year. Opposition police spokesman Kim Wells said the Liberal Party supported speed cameras so long as the focus was on road safety, not revenue raising, and so long as the cameras were accurate. "There is a set speed limit and we expect people to travel at or below that speed limit so we would support it if the focus is on road safety," he said. The introduction of point-to-point cameras is part of the Government's Arrive Alive strategy to cut road deaths by 20 per cent over five years. The road tolls in the past two years have been the lowest on record in Victoria. "What we are trying to do is to send the message to people that you just can't afford to travel too fast, on short journeys, on local roads or on major highways, it doesn't matter. People speeding, particularly speeding over a sustained period of time where fatigue and other factors become an issue, are a danger to themselves and to other drivers," Mr Holding said. The director of Monash University's Accident Research Centre, Ian Johnston, said point-to-point cameras would reduce speeding because they would take away excuses for momentary speeding. "The beauty of point-to-point is if your average speed is above the speed limit, than you are clearly not exceeding it momentarily, you are setting out to exceed it - it is so obviously deliberate and sustained," Professor Johnston said. The RACV's general manager of public policy, Ken Ogden, said his organisation supported the introduction of point-to-point cameras. But he said a motorist should receive only one fine for a journey and the cameras should not be used for on-the-spot fines as well. Mr Ogden said the Government and police should also have a public information campaign around the time the cameras are switched on. "The point of these is to deter speeding, and with adequate publicity that would occur," he said.