Jun 15th, 2010 by admin
THE Barnett government expects to reap an extra $120 million a year in speeding fines by doubling the number of police cameras on West Australian roads, and by becoming the first state to use digital hand-held cameras that detect speeding from a distance of 1.2km.
Western Australia will also soon join other states in outlawing the use of radar detectors, Police Minister Rob Johnson said yesterday.
Police have welcomed the 14 new hand-held digital cameras, called TruCams, because they allow officers to catch dozens of speeders within a short space of time. There is no need to stop each driver and issue a fine as infringement notices can be issued automatically when video and stills of each speeding vehicle are downloaded at the end of the police officer’s shift.
As with mobile cameras fixed to vehicles, the digital cameras will allow police to issue fines automatically, rather than needing to stop offending drivers on the road. This new approach means that individual officers will have the capacity to catch dozens more speeding motorists in the same amount of time.
The hand-held laser cameras, which are being trialled in other states, can track an approaching speeding vehicle from a distance of 1.2km, then take video and photographs of its number plates when it comes into view. Of course what they don’t tell you is that at 1.2km the diameter of the laser beam is 3.6m wide – a size easily capable of reflecting off a car or truck next to yours!
LTI has integrated a laser with a digital video camera, making the LTI 20-20 TruCAM™ one of the most sophisticated speed enforcement tools available.
A complete chain of video evidence is collected, along with a high resolution image that identifies vehicle make and model, license plate number and facial characteristics of the driver.
The TruCAM is more than a speed enforcement laser and video camera; the data it produces can feed into any Geographic Information System (GIS) framework. By utilizing GPS, it automatically generates location-based information every time the TruCAM is used. This provides managers with historical data to determine why, where, when and how to deploy valuable human and capital assets in the future.
LTI has patented technology that measures the time and distance between vehicles. TheTruCAM is able to acquire these critical measurements and back it up with video and photographic evidence. The TruCAM is capable of enforcing multiple speeds and even hard to get motorcycles.
Mr Johnson said he expected the new cameras would contribute to additional revenue from fines of about $120 million in their first year, but this was likely to drop as driver behaviour altered.
Last year, more than 430,000 were detected speeding in Western Australia. More than 7500 of those were found to have been speeding at 30km or more above the speed limit.
Mr Johnson has previously spoken publicly about a car accident that left his eldest daughter, Susan, disabled 11 years ago, saying it motivated him to punish hoons.
Yesterday, he said the 30 additional hand-held and fixed cameras cost $30 million, and he predicted a proliferation of fines would change the way West Australians drove as bad drivers became “fed up” with infringements.
“People need to take responsibility for their actions and realise that when they choose to drive above the speed limit, they are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of other, innocent road users,” he said.
“We have seen all too often this year the devastating consequences speed can have on our roads. I don’t want to see any more lives tragically cut short, nor do I want any families to suffer the heartache of having a loved one seriously injured in a vehicle accident caused by speed.”