Revenue raising or risk reducing?

Fixed speed cameras such as those on the freeway are highly divisive pieces of technology.
There are those who quite rightly argue that if motorists don’t speed and drive in a safe and courteous manner they will never give speed cameras or any other law enforcement devices a moment’s thought.
They are quite correct.
Others, however, are of the view that speed cameras are designed and positioned in locations to extract the maximum amount of revenue.
It can also be argued that in many cases the penalty does not fit the crime for a moment’s lack of concentration.
Both these arguments are also sound and, despite the State Government’s repeated assertions that speed cameras are a road safety device, it is impossible to ignore how reliant it is on the resulting revenue.
So the figures revealed in today’s story on page 5 of The Courier showing the revenue raised by the two newly introduced speed cameras on the South Eastern Freeway at Mt Barker Summit and Callington are astonishing.
The cameras are positioned on an excellent part of the freeway.
The road is relatively straight with long sweeping bends and carries significantly less traffic than the same road closer to the city past the population centres of Mt Barker, Bridgewater and Stirling.
So for the cameras to collect more than $2m in a year (despite the westbound cameras only operating for four months due to a technical issue) is remarkable.
These new cameras collected more than the camera at Crafers despite that part of the freeway carrying 7000 more vehicles a day.
The new cameras can catch motorists either as fixed point cameras (similar to the ones at Crafers or Leawood Gardens) or as part of the point-to-point system with the ‘other end’ 13km away.
Drivers caught speeding at both fixed point locations on the same journey will receive two fines but those caught by the point-to-point system as well as at one or both of the fixed cameras will only receive a single fine – whichever is the greater.