Thursday, 05 May 2011 12:01

Speed Cameras

Duncan spoke in Parliament on the effectiveness of speed cameras and other speed measuring devices used by South Australia Police.  This is an extract from his speech ...


           The effectiveness of speed detection devices, cameras and other speed measuring devices used by SAPOL is the motion here, that they are effective in the catching of people speeding. We need to make sure that they are accurate but we also need to make sure that they are effective in deterring people who have been speeding. The Minister for Police said that, with a Liberal or Labor government, we would not change anything. Well, things were changed. They were changed by the minister's government.


            Former police minister Wayne Matthew insisted that the signs warning of speed cameras were before the camera, that they were placed on the side of the road before the camera to warn that there was a speed camera in the area, so that if you were speeding it alerted you to that. It was not about revenue raising, it was not about catching innocent motorists who were inadvertently going down the hill at the wrong time, or something like that. It was about making sure that safety came first. They changed the name from speed cameras to safety cameras. They had the sign after the camera, and now they have taken it away completely.
            As was the case with one of my constituents a couple of months ago, if you are going down Anzac Highway into Glenelg, you go from 60 into a 50 zone—nothing changes; it is still four lanes, very busy and commercial. However, hidden behind trees (and that is the only way you could describe it) were signs saying 50 km/h. I wrote to the Minister for Police about this. The motorists were not warned they were going into a 50 zone. They assumed, quite sensibly I think, it was still a 60 zone.
            If you want a classic example of the inconsistency of speed levels being set in South Australia, go to Military Road at West Beach. It is a huge, wide road there—50 km/h. There is some traffic coming in and out, sure—caravans, buses and boats on cars—but 50 km/h an hour. Then you go to Sturt Road at Marion, next to one of the biggest shopping centres in the Southern Hemisphere. You have bus interchanges, commercial properties on both sides, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, and it is 60 km/h. I do not understand the inconsistencies.
            The 85th percentile rule in setting speed zones should be used more widely. In Singapore, they use the 85th percentile rule. In other words, 85 per cent of motorists are doing this speed so it must be a safe speed to do. In Singapore, they have actually put up the speed on some roads by up to 20 km/h using the 85th percentile rule. This government does not use that rule; they use some arbitrary measure, as can be evidenced by Military Road at West Beach and Sturt Road at Oaklands Park. This is not the first time I have mentioned this in this place. It is so inconsistent. If it was consistent you would not have people who are quite innocent going into a zone where they think that nothing has changed but it has changed.
            Let us be consistent. Let us look at all the ideas we can to make sure people are not being pinged inadvertently. Let us make sure that the speed detection devices that are being used by our police officers are as accurate as they should be, that they are being used in the correct way and that people are not being used as a source of funds for this government, because that is the perception out there. Whether it is right or wrong, that is the perception out there. Let us make sure that the whole issue of speed detection and speed detection devices is above board, is open to scrutiny and open to review even with a review panel or an appeal panel, where you pay your fine but have an appeal. Let us make sure it all works and works the way it should. That is what this motion is about and I support the motion by the member for Schubert.

Please feel free to add your comments about this issue.

Duncan

Read 9284 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 June 2011 10:10

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