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More cameras needed to cut horror road toll: safety chief

source: thewest.com.au


A large increase in the amount of speed and red light cameras is what's needed to avoid a repeat of last year's horror road fatalities in WA, says  Road Safety Council chairman Grant Dorrington.


Mr Dorrington's statement comes after a 45-year-old Subiaco woman  became Western Australia's 204th and final road fatality for 2006 when her vehicle left Thomas Rd, in Nedlands, around 11pm on New Year's Eve and smashed into a tree at high speed. The road toll for 2006 is the highest in 6 years, since 2000 where 212 people were killed on the roads - an increase by 42 deaths on the previous year despite the high fuel costs reducing the amount of driving people were doing


Mr Dorrington said the State Government's plan to cut fatalities on the road should centre on the introduction of fixed speed cameras on key freeways and highways Absolutely, because there are SOOOO many crashes on the freeways and red light cameras at every major intersection, although the amount of Multanova speed cameras may not necessarily need to increase.


"If you want to have a safer road system you have got to pay a price," Yes, we should all go back to horse and cart Grant. "Increased enforcement will have an immediate impact." on the revenue for the state government.  Pft....have a look at the accident figures since speed cameras were introduced Grant.



Mr Dorrington said WA had about 30 red light cameras, 14 Multanovas and few or no fixed speed cameras. Actually Grant that is zero fixed speed cameras


He declined to say how many more cameras WA needed but said Victoria's network of several hundred Multanovas, fixed speed cameras and red light cameras was the best and deterred dangerous driving.


"Increased enforcement will just deter those few people who either don't care, don't listen or don't give a damn about trying to keep our roads safe," Mr Dorrington said.


Assistant Police Commissioner Graeme Lienert said harsher penalties for not wearing seat belts and for speeding offences this year should help cut the road toll but a big change in drivers' attitudes was needed - some were caught speeding by 27km/h while towing caravans on New Year's Eve.


Acting Police Minister John Bowler said there would be restrictions on novice drivers this year, including bans on night driving for their first six months. He also listed random roadside drug testing and harsher measures for repeat drink drivers, including alcohol interlocks on their vehicles.





More than 200 killed on WA roads in 2006 - 1/1/07

Source: news.com.au


A woman from Perth, WA was killed when her vehicle slammed into a tree in Subiaco, taking WA's Xmas / New Year's traffic fatalities to three.


Police said they observed the 45-year-old lady speeding along Thomas St in Subiaco around 11.05 in the evening, shortly before her vehicle left the road.


The crash was so severe that the tree she hit was snapped from its trunk.

The lady died there at the crash site in what eventuated in being the final accident on WA roads for 2006.


Her death makes the total fatalities for 2006 being 204 people for WA.  This is 42 more than the previous year.  It is also the highest since 2000.  You have to question then if all these double demerits, and speed cameras are working. Clearly they are NOT reducing the road toll.


Acting Police & Community Safety Minister John Bowler stated there had been a 36% rise in the number of car passengers killed compared with last year, a 57% rise in the number of pedestrians killed and a 30% increase in the number of motorcyclists killed.


"While 204 deaths are 204 more than we want, the number of fatalities is still an improvement on the 1996 figure of 247, the 1998 figure of 223 and the 1999 figure of 218 fatalities ," Mr Bowler said.  Well I guess John we always should look on the bright side of life.




Signposted speed cameras may actually make roads more dangerous, according to experts. (AAP)

Speed camera signs a hazard - 4/1/07

Source: Wade O'Leary, ninemsn.com.au


Sign-posted speed cameras like the image left, could actually make roads more dangerous, some experts alleged.


Advisor for Road Mr. Ray Shuey told ninemsn.com.au that speed cameras (such as Gatso & Multanova) have a positive influence on local drivers, but displaying the speed signs could potentially make other parts of the road network even more hazardous.


The warning follows the disclosure of a 25% drop in speed camera fines in New South Wales since an assessment of mobile speed cameras in plain police cars was discarded in 2004. Oh dear, we're loosing revenue!


If you look at the traffic flow near exposed speed cameras along the Hume Hwy on the New South Wales side, you'll see that many motorists hit the brakes just prior to the camera zone, then speed up afterwards," he said.


"It does lower accidents in this area but then you have to contemplate the collision displacement effect – has this approach really lowered accident numbers?"


Mr Shuey, a former Victorian assistant police commissioner, cited a 2003 report showing that crash black spots in the UK monitored by plain speed cameras reported a 30% crash reduction.


However, the general road death rate in the United Kingdom increased by 2% that same year. His concerns were mutual with Prof Jack McLean, the director of the Centre for Automotive Safety Research at Adelaide University.


"The best comparison I can make with fixed (plain view) speed cameras whose locations are known is with random breath-testing," he said.


"RBT would not be anywhere near as effective if it were only done in the same streets and known locations.


"Drink-driving is dangerous wherever you do it and so is speeding." Not according to the two police officers whom were late to a meeting, caught doing 160km/h (see the story below)


A strategy of hiding all speed cameras is opposed by the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, with council vice-president David Bernie stating that speed camera warning signs by and large do change driver behaviour in a positive way.


"That achieves the desired outcome of people driving slower where they should be, rather than it all being just a revenue-raising exercise," he said.


"So if you're discussing lowering the numbers of speeding drivers and reducing the death toll, then we'd have to say that plain view speed cameras is the best solution."


A battle against visible speed camera warning signs has been argued by Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Mr. Harold Scruby.


Mr. Scruby states a "Monash University Accident Research Centre" study that suggests a mix of hidden speed cameras and a high-profile awareness campaign can reduce the number of fatalities on the road.  Note he says "can" not "will".


Victoria has Australia's lowest per-capita road fatalities of 6.6 deaths per 100,000 people whilst using hidden cameras only, compared to the NSW rate of 7.6 per 100,000


Mr. Shuey states the effect of open speed camera warning signs in simpler terms: "You'd only get a dill caught speeding in those areas, but they will just take a risk in other areas."




Sydney's faulty speed cameras exposed - 18/11/06

source: ninemsn.com.au


Drivers will have new grounds to appeal and challenge speeding fines after an intensive investigation by National Nine News showed 100's of faults in Sydney’s (fixed) speed cameras.

A 4 month long National Nine News investigation discovered that 568 faults in total had been identified during 7,500 tests on the
accuracy of the NSW's 117 fixed speed cameras.

The Roads Traffic Authority (RTA) claims that no motorist was wrongly fined as a result of the speed camera faults (Yea right, what bollocks) but speed camera lawyers say the never before released maintenance records will be used to initiate new challenges to speeding tickets issued.

The RTA's Fixed Speed Camera Testing Records revealed that the day-to-day operations of speed cameras were suspended almost 200 times to replace old road sensors and when speed measuring systems failed, power was cut or there were other camera technical problems.

The RTA also admits other faults, including camera flashes that didn't work, photograph quality issues & camera electronics problems, happened dozens of times and caused the investigation and possible withdrawal of speeding offences which had been alleged.

"It shows we have a very rigorous testing regime," offered the RTA's Alec Brown.  Spoken like a true CEO covering his own arse, what does Alec really think we are that stupid. 

"No maintenance issues led to any speed measurement errors in the last year." Prove it Alec.

But lawyer, Dennis Miralis, who makes his living fighting speed camera fines, says it's the 1st time the RTA has publicly admitted issues regarding
maintenance could cause the withdrawal of speeding fines.

"We are talking about 10's of 1000's of drivers who are effected by these sorts of issues — drivers which the RTA now are publicly acknowledging could lead to the inappropriate issuing of a speeding fine and the consideration of the withdrawal of a ticket."

"These cameras are not invincible, these cameras are subject to error."

The investigation also found that the RTA doesn't routinely compile a list of the camera faults it's inspectors discover. Wouldn't want that list getting out boys would you!!

Under Freedom of Information laws, National Nine News put in a request for 3 years of reports on the maintenance and accuracy of their speed cameras. They were told by the RTA it would take a staff member 4 years to compile the information and cost $246,000. Well that sounds like the speed of a government RTA employee

The request was refused by the RTA's records access unit on the grounds it was an "unreasonable diversion of resources."  It so so hard in the days of computers and databases to believe that this information would take 4 years and cost $246,000 - yet it's OK to
spend thousands auditing more than 700,000 statutory declarations over the past three years  by the State Debt Recovery Office in light of "the Einfield case"...pft




A NSW policeman has escaped rink-driving charges as fellow officers failed to lodge court documents on time. (Getty Images)

N.S.W. Policeman escapes his drink driving charge

source: ninemsn.com.au 10/12/06


The New South Wales police are investigating allegations that a fellow policeman escaped his drink-driving charge because his fellow coppers failed to file the proper court documents in time.


The case against Police Constable Mark Joseph Smith, age 29, was thrown out of the Downing Centre Local Court last Tues because the police lodged a court attendance notice 21 days late, News Ltd newspapers had reported.


He was allegedly driving with a blood alcohol reading (BAR) of 0.195 - almost four times the legal limit - when police stopped him in Raglan St, of Manly, at 3am Australian Eastern Standard Time on April 14th of this year.


Downing Centre Local Court was told that the relative documents should have been lodged within 7 days of the offence but in effect, they had not been lodged until May the 14th (three weeks late).


NSW Police Minister John Watkins said Police Commissioner Ken Moroney are apparently "personally looking into the case".


"He's referred the matter to the professional standards command within NSW Police for investigation," Mr Watkins told Southern Cross Broadcasting.


"That investigation is automatically overseen by the Police Integrity Commission (PIC).


"I think that's the right way to go, and we should now await that investigation's outcome." he said.




Beware of the scams! - more radar detectors being 're-badged' and sold online

One of the main reasons I launched this website was I was pissed at the number of BS sites selling drivers misinformation. Now whilst I won't get into a competitor bashing contest (that has already gone on over the internet) I do like to point out key distinctions so you may draw your own conclusions before handing over your hard-earned money to one of these scam-artists.


One particular website is offering a radar detector (all over the world, each sales page is modified to suit that country) sold as the "beat the speed trap" or BTST detector.  They are also being advertised to the Australian market via the website www.beatthespeedtrap.co.nz/australia.html


Have a look at the picture, then have a look at the Quintezz XT7000 radar detector at www.carpages.co.uk/news/radar-detectors-14-03-05.asp or another page www.carparts-direct.co.uk/catalogues/so_radardetector.cfm


Here you can clearly see it is the same unit retailing or 149 in the UK yet being offered for sale for $700 Aus.


Wow...all that extra mark-up and I get a BTST sticker on a Quintezz unit!


Clearly these type of people do not care about their customers, they just pump out as many as they can before the word gets out.


In fact the story behind this particular unit is that they wanted to get rid of them before the laws changed in the UK banning the sale of these types of units....read the following:


A speed camera detection vendor is discounting its stock of radar detectors before they become illegal. In defiance to the proposed law likely to take effect next year, the supplier has announced it will immediately dispose of all remaining stock at a cut price to those who quote ‘I hate speed cameras’ at time of ordering.

Mark Cornwall of Car Parts Direct said, "Whilst the ‘I hate speed cameras’ campaign may seem like childish humour, the issue is a very serious one – speed cameras have ruined motorists’ lives with no real improvement to road safety. Once our device is outlawed more drivers will lose their licence. Once our current stock has gone a motorist won’t be able to buy a Quintezz – at any price."

The Quintezz speed camera spotter is designed to detect all Gatso and Laser speed cameras including the hidden mobile cameras that most devices cannot detect. Car Parts Direct has also guaranteed to pay 60 cashback to any user that receives a speeding ticket while their unit is fitted – a unique guarantee not offered by any other supplier of speed camera detectors.

The detector plugs in to the cigarette lighter socket and slides on to the dashboard. It alerts the driver by a series of lights and bleeps to any Gatso or laser frequency. It plugs in and it’s ready to go and there is no subscription to pay or updating required. While the company said false alerts are likely at traffic lights and supermarket doors, most users consider this a small inconvenience compared to losing a driving licence.

The Quintezz device normally sells for 199. Just put ‘I hate speed cameras’ in the box when asked for any other information relevant to the order and get 50 off from the price, paying just 149.

source: www.pistonheads.com/speed/default.asp?storyId=14177


Before you decide to buy a radar detector, make sure it has been reviewed on either radartest.com or speedzones.com


Only yesterday I was speaking with someone who's mate liked the idea of the speeding fine rebate being offered by Rocky Mountain radar detectors in the US.


"..yea but they will pay your fine if you get caught"


How can companies offer this claim if their products don't perform? Simple!

Rocky Mountain Radar (RMR) offers such a "ticket rebate program" to the purchasers of its radar products. It is a nice catch phrase that makes the potential buyer conclude that the product performance must be pretty good to offer such a claim. Is this ticket rebate program just a come-on to convince a novice buyer that the product must be the best thing since sliced bread, or does this claim truly represent the performance of the products, or is it a calculated risk offered by the companies to get customers to buy products?  Here are Ticket Rebate Terms from Rocky Mountain Radar and some, if not all, of its distributors for RMR passive radar jammers:

The following restrictions apply to the ticket rebate program.

  • In order to be eligible for the ticket rebate program, the ticket rebate option must be purchased.

  • The registered owner of the jammer must be the driver.
  • The registered owner must not be going over 15 MPH or 30% over the posted speed limit, whichever is less.
  • The ticket must clearly state "radar" or "laser" and "speeding".
  • The ticket is within one year of the date of purchase and the registered owner has mailed in the registration form.
  • The ticket does not involve a DWI, DUI, or speeding in a school zone.
  • The ticket is given in the United States.
  • The registered owner must be from earth!

Either the product works or it doesn't.  Their rebate program makes you jump through a lot of small hoops!!  Why is that necessary? 

Most potential customers of Passive Scramblers do not ask what must be provided to get a claim paid after you receive a ticket. Take a look at the details of this so-called ticket rebate program. Notice the fine print about not honoring the ticket rebate if you were caught driving above a certain speed over the posted limit, or above a certain percentage above the posted limit, or if the ticket does not specifically state "radar" or "laser". 

Suffice it to say, if this manufacturer can't prove that his products work, and you use them, you WILL get at least one radar/laser ticket if you travel too fast too often. If you do get a rebate of $100, you may have paid $300 for the product, so the manufacturer would still have a good portion of your funds. Are you wondering "then why do they offer this $100 ticket rebate if what they sell does not work?" Well think about it. You sell an item costing perhaps $20.00 for $300.00. If you send the customer back $100, you are still ahead of the game $180.00. 

Again, do your homework, does the product appear on radartest.com or speedzones.com and please email or phone us if you have any questions.



Police showdown over speed ticket - 20/11/06

source: John Kidman, The Sun-Herald,


The state's top end crime command detectives and their highway patrol colleagues are facing off in court over a bizarre speeding fine dispute. What a way to spend tax payers money!

Police sources allege two officers from the New South Wales firearms squad were recently booked at nearly 160kmh in a 100kmh speed zone whilst traveling in tandem in unmarked patrol cars on the state's Mid North Coast.

While admitting they were not speeding to an emergency, the officers are alleged to have justified to the highway patrol officer that they were running late for an early morning briefing with senior police officers at Port Macquarie.

Unfortunately, they again justified, budget restrictions had forced them to drive directly to the meeting from Sydney as opposed to staying the night before at a local motel.

The highway patrol officer allegedly accepted the excuse but then changed his mind later, issuing the two officers with fines for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45kmh.

Under normal circumstances, the speeding offence carries a $1589 fine and the loss of 6 demerit points, but if convicted in a court, the maximum penalty could be a total of $2200 in fines and a 6 month driver's licence disqualification.

It is believed at least one of the detectives will argue that the fines were unlawful because they were issued later, rather than on the spot. Try using that one in "normal circumstances"

She is also expected to claim that the highway patrolman phoned the firearms squad office in Sydney some hours later, in order to confirm her identity.

Whilst aware of the case,
Bob Pritchard - NSW Police Association president announced on Tuesday that he was "unable to comment" except to say that he had been asked to attend and speak to detectives at a closed meeting on Thursday.

"What I was there to achieve was address members about their entitlements under the association's financial legal assistance scheme," Mr Pritchard said.

The controversy follows one of the NSW top detectives being booked and fined for using his mobile phone (no hands free) whilst driving behind the wheel, in April of this year.

It was later revealed that Detective Senior Constable Paul Quigg had answered a call from a colleague on behalf of his boss, State Crime Commander Graeme Morgan, when he was seen by a passing highway patrol car.

The moral of the story:

Speeding is dangerous, unless you’re a police officer late for a meeting.




The more they fiddle, the longer the road toll stays the same - 16/11/06
source: Harold Scruby

Back in 1995 the premier Bob Carr, and his roads minister, Carl Scully, proudly launched their ambitious program called "Road Safety 2000" stating that New South Wales would have the safest roads in the world with less than 500 deaths and 5500 injuries on the roads each year.


When the millennium came around, the NSW annual road toll was in excess of 600 fatalities.

Scully quietly dumped the Road Safety 2000 program faster than a extraterrestrial explanation given by Moulder and launched "Road Safety 2010" campaign instead, boasting a saving of 820 lives by the year 2005 and 2000 lives by the year 2010.


Yet by the end of 2005 the road fatalities in NSW had not dropped below 500.

Now, not only has the NSW Government moved the goal posts but they have changed their shape as too! The NSW Gov have benched the globally agreed "deaths per hundred thousand of population" measurement and instead have committed to reducing "vehicle crash deaths per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled".


This clever little change has given the government some extra variables that will artificially change the results they are promoting. For example with petrol prices rising, people will travel less or use more public transport, so there will be a fall in the number of road deaths, even though there has been no change in road safety trends.

In 2003, the year of the most recent data available from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the NSW rate of motor vehicle crash fatalities per 100 million kilometres travelled by vehicles was 0.89, which is the second highest of all Australian states and higher than the overall Australian average rate of 0.81

There are other suspect practices by the government, in NSW for example, the RTA and police have a nice little arrangement called the "enhanced enforcement program" or EEP.  Last year the RTA gave the NSW police approximately $8 million dollars to pay for their overtime whilst the police conducted road safety enforcement operations - in other words speed enforcement, random breath testing and other traffic duties


Now whilst it's agreed the police should be paid for their overtime, heck give them a pay rise, such suspect payments compromise the independence of the police and how and where they carry out their duties.


These payments in effect, enable the Minister for Roads to dictate how, when and where the police operate these traffic duties. The effectiveness of these methods has not been independently investigated.


Of course the police won't criticize the Road Traffic Authority because actually getting paid for your overtime is appealing, particularly when their pays are in desperate need of review.


The payment for overtime should come from the Treasury, not the RTA and the high road fatalities can in theory, be partly blamed on the NSW Police association due to its opposition to modern work practices and technologies that would reduce road trauma significantly and improve the safety of its members.


source: pistonheads.com

An elderly man died and his wife seriously injured after a head-on collision with a UK police car being driven by a policeman testing a new speed measurment device.

The two Lancashire patrol cars, with one traveling behind the other, were testing out a new speed device called Vascar, which calculates the speed of a target vehicle. The police had not used the Vascar prior, and were evaluating it's effectiveness.

The elderly couple, Peter and Jean Williams, were both retired from work, and were driving their VW Touran vehicle on their way to a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. The two patrol cars rounded a bend during the middle of the day and the lead patrol car hit the Williams' vehicle.

Mr Williams suffered extensive chest and leg injuries, and subsequently died the next day in hospital. Mrs Williams is still alive with multiple fractures and is still in hospital.

The horrific accident happened on the B6254 road in between Arkholme and Over Kellet, close to Lancaster on Thurs 2nd of Nov. Locals state it is a road with sudden dips that often block the view ahead, and a site of many accidents prior.

Both the police car drivers had completed their advanced training courses in driving a vehicle, although the Police offered no comment as to why such testing wasn't more suited to a much safer road than a known accident area.

Photo Camera fines Blind Man - 12/11/06

source: pistonheads.com

In the UK a 42 year old blind and deaf man has received a speeding fine in the mail from a speed camera aka photo radar. UK traffic enforcement claim the man was caught on camera traveling at 36 mph on a 30 mph limit road. The speeding ticket issued includes a fine amount of 60 ($148 AUD), and 3 demerit points against his driver's license (interesting enough he doesn't have a driver's licence, being a little hard to obtain when his blind dog failed the driving test.


The man and his wife state they were 250 km away from the alleged location of the speed camera at the time of incident when the camera allegedly snapped his wife's car, registered in his name.


In many areas where police use speed cameras, they are suppose to check the actual photo of the speeder in the car against the registered owner's photograph on his or her driver's licence.


If the photograph from the speed camera matches the registered owner's photograph a ticket is then sent by mail, but if it doesn't match the registered owner, a letter is sent out asking for the identification of the driver at the time.


Bit hard when we are now being photographed from behind...


Katherine accident

source: Andrew Cummins

A 16yo Northern Territory boy was taking his driving lessons with his father when the pair were involved in an accident on the Stuart Highway approximately nineteen km south of Katherine last night.

The boy, whom was driving a Mitsubishi Pajero vehicle, was believed to have taken his eyes off the road to glance at the car's speedometer. In doing this, his car drifted onto the opposite side of the road towards oncoming traffic. The young boy then attempted to correct the Pajero's path but lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll.

The incident occurred at approximately 7pm.

Both the boy driving and his father, were treated for minor injuries but since have been discharged from the local hospital.

Considerable damage to the Mitsubishi Pajero was inflicted due to the incident and Northern Territory Police, Fire and Rescue Service and St John’s Ambulance attended the scene. [Granted the boy was young and inexperienced, but this shows you the danger of becoming a society fixated on the speedometer rather than the road conditions ahead]



Speed demons - 13/11/06

source: Jessica Johnston

TWIN cities residents have a $3000-a-day addiction to speeding.  Drivers have tallied up over a million dollars in speeding traffic fines over the past financial year.  30 drivers have their photos taken speeding past cameras in North QLD every day, according to the latest police statistics.  A total of 10,904 "speed demons" [note how they have been labelled as "demons" - even though we are not told how fast over the limit they were travelling - as some speed cameras are set to trigger 3km/h over the limit, which by the way is LESS than the error tolerance of both the speed camera itself and the car's speedometer] were caught by speed cameras in the northern police region last financial year – a huge 21% increase on the previous year.  [if we have a 21% increase in speeding fines, then speed cameras are NOT DOING what the government & police are preaching their use for!] More than five times as many tickets were issued than in 2004-05, when 8982 drivers were caught.

And that was just the fixed cameras.

Northern Region Traffic co-ordinator Inspector Brian Richardson warned if you were speeding you would get caught.  "The increase in fines by about 2000 is obviously concerning," [YES speed cameras are NOT WORKING - but hey, we like the tax it brings in, heck we've even written it into our budgets, so we aren't going to remove them] Insp Richardson said.  "However I would say a lot could be attributed to the fact were have moved the cameras to different sites in the last year."  Insp Richardson said three cameras were planted on northern roads every day.  "These cameras work around the clock, day and night. Where they are deployed is generated through traffic crash data. But we always have one in Townsville, one between Bowen and Ingham and another in the Mount Isa region and Flinders Highway," he said.

Insp Richardson said police planted the cameras in 353 different sites in the northern region.  He said a Queensland Transport computer system was used to pick the hot-spots, based on data such as traffic crashes.  [Another statement that can easily be proven wrong. They are placed to maximise revenue, only a few are placed at accident black spots] "A further 101 new sites were added over the last year, based on up-to-date information. This may have accounted for some of the increase in detection."  Insp Richardson said police also had the handheld 'hairdryer' radar guns and mobile radars on their cars as part of their speed-curbing arsenal.

Townsville drivers were also shown to be consistent red-light runners.  Four drivers were caught by red-light cameras every day -- the same number as the previous year.  And the number of deaths skyrocketed along with speeding offences.  A total of 28 people died, 318 required hospitalisation, 266 needed medical treatment and another 165 sustained minor injuries after crashes on North Queensland roads.  There were three more deaths than the year before. [so not only are there more speeding fines being issued, there are more deaths on our roads! Why can't we band together and have these revenue raisers removed as they are not achieving their purpose as stated by politicians and police.]

However, Insp Richardson said he believed speed cameras were still effective deterrents. [translation - still effective revenue raisers]  "They are a very effective deterrent. When you look at the year they were introduced there was a significant drop in fatalities," he said. [What about each and every year since!! **sigh** you don't state those facts do you] "It was a positive intervention that reduced death, not only in Queensland, but Australia-wide when introduced."  He said traffic police worldwide would continue to consider new interventions to prevent road deaths. [safe motoring yes, tough on speed demons yes, but there is a vast difference between being fined for doing 107km/h on a 100km/h straight highway in very light traffic and an idiot travelling at 70km/h in a 50km/h zone or school zone.  Shouldn't we be concentrating on the road and conditions, rather than fixating on our speedometers - which the RAC state have a tolerance of 10% to account for the wear & pressure changes in our tyres.  How many speed cameras are in school zones? How many on busy highways?  I rest my case]



120 arrested over alleged traffic fine scam - 13/11/06

Source: NEWS.com.au

120 people in total have been arrested across the state of NSW over a scam whereby they allegedly used false names in statutory declarations to police for driving and parking offences occurred.

Strike Force Kindilan was established in September of this year after a special audit by the State Debt Recovery Office had  identified 238 people as allegedly giving a false name on stat decs to avoid monetary fines for speeding and other traffic or parking offences.

An operation over the weekend led to 120 arrests being made on people and so far, 76 of these arrests had been charged with a total of 150 different offences, police revealed today.

All were given bail to appear at a later date in court.

Police have explained that the persons gave false declarations in one of two ways; either putting down the name of a deceased person, or a resident of someone else who was in another state - for their traffic infringements.

"These offences constitute fraud and, if proven guilty, could land the offenders with harsh penalties including imprisonment," said Superintendent Daryl Donnolley said today.

Further arrests are expected as the investigation continues.



The Police Association NSW calls for ban on hand-held radar guns - 13/11/06

source: Rural Press Interactive


The Police Association of NSW has called for a state-wide forbiddance on the use of hand held radar during traffic work following the weekend death of a highway POLICE officer.
A representative for the association declared that the action placed excessive threats on officers and there had been a number of accidents since 2000 involving Police officers in this line of work.

The representative said there needed to be "an urgent review state-wide" of hand held radar police work.

NSW Commissioner of Police, Ken Moroney, has paid tribute to the officer who died on the weekend after being stricken by a Four-wheel drive vehicle at Somersby.

Senior Constable Peter Gordon Wilson, known to his fellow officers as Gordon, aged 41, worked with the Brisbane Water Highway Patrol. The Policeman suffered grievous injuries at the accident scene and was later taken by ambulance to Gosford Hospital where he later died.

Commissioner Moroney expressed his deepest condolences and offered support to the family of Senior Constable Wilson - his partner, Kylie, and "in particular his three children".

"All police officers in the field face grave dangers every day in the field and this is a tragic reminder of the very nature of police work," police commissioner Moroney said.

Senior Constable Wilson was conducting radar traffic duties on the F3 highway about 6.45pm on Sat evening when he was struck by a Mitsubishi Pajero Four-wheel drive being driven north.

While investigations continue into the exact circumstances of the accident, police have been told the Four-wheel drive may have been hit from the rear by a another vehicle, a black Toyota Hilux utility before it was pushed onto the Police officer.

Both vehicles have been seized by Polce investigations for mechanistic examinations and the drivers of the vehicles have been interviewed by investigators.

As of this time there has been no charges laid and inquiries are continuing by Police officers from the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit.

A report is presently being prepared for the coroner.

In the meantime QLD police are also mourning the loss of one of their own officers after a road smash in NSW on the weekend.

Queensland Police Commissioner, Bob Atkinson this afternoon said he and all members of the QLD Police Service were very saddened to hear the tragical word that a 42-year-old Queensland Police Officer had been killed in a road accident near Coffs Harbour over the weekend.

Detective Sergeant Stewart Kerlin, a member of the Argos Taskforce, was killed when two cars and a truck collided on the Pacific Highway near Woolgoolga, Twenty-five kilometres north of Coffs Harbour just about 10am Sat morning.

Also injured in the collision was 43-year-old Detective Senior Constable Paul Meese, also from the Argos Taskforce. It is believed he is in a unchanging condition in Coffs Harbour Hospital. The two officers were traveling to a number of locations close to New South Wales as part of an on-going investigation.

NSW Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding this morning's crash. No doubt, they will once again label it as speed being the major contributing factor.

Commissioner Atkinson said Detective Sergeant Kerlin was an outstanding and respected member of the QLD Police Service, and his sudden death will be a tragic loss, not only to his colleagues at State Crime, but to the QLD Police Service.

"On behalf of the QLD Police Service I convey my deepest sympathies to the family of Detective Police sergeant Kerlin during this difficult time."

"I would also like to wish a speedy and complete recuperation to Police detective Senior Constable Meese and the 60-year-old woman who was a rider in one of the other vehicles involved in the accident," Mister Atkinson said.





Source: pistonheads.com (picture by speedcam.co.uk)

Is the use of civilians with speed cameras illegal?

If the police don't book you for speeding, then a local 'speed-watch' civilian will. But perhaps that's about to change in the UK and it could cost the Government a huge amount of money in refunded speeding fines.

A UK businessman is challenging a speeding ticket on the foundation that a civilian using the speed camera device on which the citation is based upon is unqualified to take an initial view on whether he was speeding or not. He argues that a police officer, however, is both trained and empowered in law to do just that, while civilians certainly are not. [I have been asking this question for years]

The case is based on a loophole in the UK Police Reform Act of 2002 which allowed the police to employ civilians. But it didn't however give civilians the legal right to catch and book speeding drivers, according to website pepipoo.co.uk, which is supporting the accused man.

Pipipoo's originator Mike Morgan will speak on behalf of the accused man at Devizes Magistrates' Court. He said that in his mind, there is no doubt the law is being broken by using civilians to man and operate speed cameras.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "Police officers are deemed to be officers of the Crown and, as such, are considered to be able to form what is known as a prior opinion of excess speed - in other words to get a visual check of the speeding car. The speed camera or other speed measurement device provides the secondary opinion - but one is not valid without the other. We have engaged top legal advice and it is agreed that there is NO Act of Parliament that gives any civilian speed camera operator the empowerment to give evidence as primary for speed tickets - only a policeman can do that."

The use of civilians operators with radar speed guns is also patchy, with the Met and Thames Valley eschewing their use but 11 of them, including Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, and Dorset, do so.

The police offered no comment on the matter.


D'Orazio forced to go as MPs voice disgust - 10/5/06

source: The West Australian


Alan Carpenter was effectively sidelined yesterday by angry Labor MPs who pressured John D'Orazio to quit Cabinet over the speeding fine scandal - less than 24 hours after the Premier allowed him to stay.

Mr D'Orazio took the decision out of Mr Carpenter's hands after talking to backbench and ministerial colleagues who were angry he had been allowed to stay in Cabinet.

Mr Carpenter demoted - but did not sack - Mr D'Orazio on Monday after it emerged he had been driving for two months without a licence for not paying speeding fines.

Many backbenchers said they were disgusted with the way that Mr Carpenter had handled the issue.

The former police and justice minister said he was resigning because he realised that he was causing the Government too much damage by remaining in Cabinet.

"The reason I'm (going to resign) is because the distractions of the last couple of days is now affecting the Government and it's affecting the standing of the Premier," he said. "The circumstances are such that the damage that it's doing to the Government and the Premier is unacceptable."

Mr D'Orazio failed to pay two on-the-spot speeding fines in August and October last year, subsequently lost his driver's licence on February 22 and was involved in a car crash on April 21 while his licence was suspended.

He said reminder notices were sent to an old address and he was unaware that a cheque sent to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to pay the first fine had not been accepted. Mr D'Orazio regained his driver's licence on April 24 when a resident at his former address dropped off the reminder notices to his electorate office, coincidentally three days after his crash in Subiaco, and the outstanding fines were paid.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the former pharmacist had failed to pay superannuation contributions to staff at his chemist shop. That was only days after The West Australian revealed Mr D'Orazio as the man who had been referred to as the "Godfather" at a Corruption and Crime Commission hearing last year.

The Opposition raised questions about Mr Carpenter's lack of leadership in allowing the latest D'Orazio matter to drag on for 24 hours.

Opposition Leader Paul Omodei said Mr Carpenter had displayed weak leadership by not sacking Mr D'Orazio when he first was told of the latest indiscretion on Thursday, the day before Mr D'Orazio announced new speeding fines for drivers.

"The message to the public is a poor one," he said. "If you are a Labor minister you can drive without  a licence but if you are an ordinary person, you will be penalised. The Premier should have sacked him immediately. By falling on his sword, Mr D'Orazio has saved him the job."

The frustration and anger of many Labor MPs over the latest scandal was evident as they made their way into a caucus yesterday morning with many backbenchers set to demand answers from both Mr D'Orazio and Mr Carpenter.

Some, including Kimberley MLA Carol Martin, said Mr D'Orazio's resignation was a day late. Many expressed their eagerness to discuss the matter, describing the driving without a licence incident as "disappointing", "embarrassing", "unfortunate" and "highly regrettable".

The West Australian understands that Mr D'Orazio phoned a number of ministerial colleagues on Monday night and Tuesday morning seeking their advice, which was overwhelmingly to resign.

Mr D'Orazio did not offer his resignation when the scandal was revealed on Monday and Mr Carpenter apparently did not force the issue, saying the indiscretion did not warrant Mr D'Orazio's dismissal from Cabinet.

Mr Carpenter said he assumed Mr D'Orazio would pay for the damage to his ministerial car resulting from the crash.

Jockeying for the spare Cabinet spot has already begun with Swan Hills MLA Jaye Radisich, a member of the New Right faction, the first to declare her interest. Members of her faction will argue the post should go to the New Right, where Mr D'Orazio is from.

Upper House MP Adele Farina and Riverton MP Tony McRae were yesterday assessing their support to run for the ministerial position.


Errant drivers to cop trebled fines and more demerit points - 10/5/06

source: The West Australian

Speeding fines are to treble and drivers guilty of other offences will be hit with increased demerit points as part of a shake-up of traffic penalties to be announced by the State Government as early as this weekend.

The West Australian understands the penalty for travelling more than 40kmh over the limit will leap from $350 to more than $1000, bringing it in line with tough penalties in the Eastern States. The penalty for speeding up to 9kmh over the limit will double from $50 to $100. [note this can include 3km/h over the limit for Multanovas - less than the 10% tolerance stated by the RAC for speedometers based on tyre wear and pressure]

Fines for using a mobile phone without an approved hands-free kit will jump from $100 to $300 with demerit points trebling to three.

Other lesser traffic offences will be downgraded after the Road Safety Council recommended that fines and penalties be based on the collision risk factor associated with each particular offence. The West Australian understands penalties for some pedestrian offences, such as crossing a road within the vicinity of a red light, will fall.

Council chief Grant Dorrington said yesterday penalties associated with incidents that could lead to death on the roads should be higher.

Police Minister John D'Orazio refused to detail increases in penalties or demerit points.

But in his strongest hint that fines are due to rise, he said there had been no substantial increase in traffic fines since 1997.

"The Office of Road Safety commissioned a review in 2004," he said yesterday. "That report has concluded and I'll make some announcements at the appropriate time of what those outcomes will be."

The report was presented to Mr D'Orazio two months ago. It has not been released publicly.

Senior traffic police have been frustrated for years that speeding penalties in WA are outdated and not a big enough deterrent.

Opposition road safety spokesman John McGrath said Mr D'Orazio's comments were inappropriate when there had been 64 deaths on WA roads this year, more than in the same period in the previous two years.

"The Police Minister has been totally negligent in his duty in sitting on the report when we have had too many deaths on WA roads in the first four months this year," he said.

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