The Victorian Government reaped more than $700,000 from speeding Ballarat region motorists in the first three months of this financial year, new figures reveal.
Department of Justice statistics show a 92 per cent jump in the number of fines issued by mobile speed cameras in police region 2, division 3, between July and September this year compared with the same three-month period last year.
At the beginning of the 2008/9 financial year, 2515 fines were issued in region 2, division 3, compared with 4833 this year.
The rise equates to an extra $338,000 in fine revenue.
The region comprises the municipalities of Ballarat, Hepburn, Moorabool, Golden Plains, Central Goldfields and Pyrenees.
Victorian Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder, who obtained the figures under freedom of information laws, said the rise in the Ballarat region was the highest of any police division in the state.
“Local motorists suffered more than 12 times the average Victorian rise in speed camera fines for the September 2009 quarter,” he said.
“Shepparton rose 55 per cent, Ararat, Stawell and Horsham almost 24 per cent, Geelong was up 13.5 per cent while Wangaratta and Wodonga increased more than 11 per cent.
“Overall across Victoria, mobile speed camera fines in the September quarter 2009 rose 7.4 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.”
But Victorian Police and Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron said speed remained the biggest killer on Victorian roads.
“We make no apologies for providing Victoria Police with record resources which is driving down the road toll and saving lives,” he said.
“We would be happy for police to never issue a fine if it meant people weren’t speeding.”
(Bollocks….they’d be crapping themselves how they’d fill the void in revenue)
Victoria Police have defended the rise, saying they could only assume it was because people were not heeding the road safety message.
In a statement, a police spokesman said speed camera operation hours in the Ballarat and Bendigo regions had increased, as announced by the government earlier this year.
He said operational hours were based on needs identified by road trauma and collision data.
In Ballarat, speed camera hours rose 33.17 per cent with 839 hours, compared to 630 hours in 2008.