1) What are the different types of police radar / laser & speed cameras used in QLD?
a) What is the respective the tolerance / accuracy of each device?
b) What are the guidelines for use of this equipment?
c) How do these devices make mistakes?
i) Moving Radar errors and mistakes
ii) Laser (LIDAR) errors and mistakes
iii) Speed camera errors and mistakes
2) What products offer the best protection against these types of police radar / laser / cameras?
a) What are the laws governing the use of radar / laser detectors?
b) Can the police determine if you are using a radar detector?
3) What are the penalties / demerit points and speeding fines for QLD?
a) If I know I wasn't speeding, how can I challenge / beat a speeding fine
4) What are the road fatality statistics for Queensland?
5) Summary for police radar, laser and speed cameras in Queensland
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In Queensland, the police use the following speed measurement devices:
Dash Mounted radar (aka moving radar) set up in police cars:
The KR10-SP manufactured by Kustom Signals Inc in the USA was the first dash mounted K-band radars used in QLD police cars. The KR10 can be used in stationary and moving mode, and can be used in "instant on" mode or "constant on" mode. One antenna for front only or two antennas for front / rear can be used.
QLD is the only state to retain the Genesis Select II Ka-band dash mounted radar after it was withdrawn from use in WA and NSW. It is manufactured in the US by Decatur Electronics Inc, with the "Australian version" being 35.1GHz (US version is 35.5GHz). There has been numerous news stories challenging the reliability of the Decatur Genesis (Ka-band) radar, however a huge court battle has finished in late 2006 which give victory to the radar company.
Reports have also surfaced that the QLD police are also using the Stalker DSR2 in car radar system. The Stalker radar (operating on 34.7GHz) is one of the most advanced police radar systems in the world able to display both the strongest and fastest targets simultaneously. This enables the Stalker to monitor faster vehicles passing larger vehicles and display the speed of both targets simultaneously. While stationary, the police car can monitor traffic in both directions, front and behind simultaneously. If the police car is moving, it can monitor traffic in one direction, but still front and back simultaneously.
Hand-held laser (aka lidar):
The QLD police, like many Australian states, use the LTI Ultralyte 100LR speed laser (lidar) gun. The LTI Ultralyte 100 LR used in Australia is the 100pps (pulses per second) model displaying speed and distance in km/h and km respectively. The LTI Ultralyte 100LR operates at a frequency of 904nm, and as per all speed lidar guns, has an extremely narrow divergence of the radar beam, as well as able to acquire a vehicle's speed in less than one second.
Mobile Speed Cameras:
cameras began operating in QLD since May 1997. Queensland use the mobile Gatso
radar 24 speed camera which, like in Victoria, are set up in a vehicle
as shown to the left. The Gatso speed cameras
operate on low powered K-band radar at 24.125GHz and
will only give a couple of hundred meters warning to the
best radar detectors. Gatsometer is a Dutch company that
provides many types of speed and red light cameras.
Watch a flash demo of a Gasto speed camera in action. More info on QLD's traffic infringements. Queensland
will trial fixed speed cameras by the end of the 2007.
"We're expecting to have a trial by the end of the year,"
says Transport Minister Paul Lucas. "We'll be
looking to put them
(fixed cameras) in places where it isn't safe to have police, or police in vehicles operating the mobile cameras." Queensland's toll roads including the Logan Motorway and Gateway Bridge and motorways could also have fixed speed camera in place. "I really think there are places along the Logan Motorway, for example where you could probably put them on easily," Lucas says. Fixed speed cameras are in place in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria, but are not in operation in Queensland.
Fixed Red Light / Speed Cameras:
The Red Light cameras in are supplied by Redflex, and Gatso (the RLC 36M-MC), first introduced in Queensland in December 1990. The systems capture two successive 'scene' images. The first image records an infringing vehicle that is just about to enter the intersection during the red signal phase and shows the 'red' traffic signal phase. The second image provides photographic evidence that the vehicle continued into the intersection illegally. The systems then 'find' and 'zoom' the license plate area to give crisp, high-resolution, pixelation-free, license plate images that are easily read to maximize successful prosecutions.
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How accurate are these devices?
The assumption being made here, is that the speed measuring equipment is being used according to the manufacturer's guidelines (see below).
The Kustom Eagle & Decatur Genesis dash mounted moving radars are accurate to ±2km/h in stationary mode and ±3km/h in moving mode
The LTI Ultralyte Laser (Lidar) gun is also accurate to ± 2km/h and cannot be operated in moving mode.
The Gatsometer speed cameras are accurate to ± 2km/h and cannot be operated in moving mode.
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What are the guidelines for use of this equipment?
What does all this mean? It means that there are requirements for the correct placement and setup of speed camera devices as well as guidelines for the use of radar devices. Rules that must be followed for setup, placement and testing! But are they?
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How do Police Radar, Laser & Speed Cameras make mistakes?
Speed camera mistakes:
The police and the government would like to have us believe in their "utmost confidence in the accuracy of speed cameras". Of course they would, as a proven fault could cost them millions of dollars in repaid fines and loss of revenue, not to mention a loss of confidence. But how just accurate are the Queensland Gatso speed cameras? As the Gatso mobile speed cameras are set up similarly to the Multanova speed cameras in WA and SA, we shall compare the possible errors these cameras can make.
"As the police officer was not in a position to estimate accurately the speed of the vehicle with the naked eye and did not take meaningful notes, his evidence, apart from the evidence from the Multanova , was not sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the motor vehicle owned by the defendant was speeding on the date in question.
Multinova readings are admissible if the surroundings reveal that the evidence is both accurate and enjoys circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness. The circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness were not supplied by the police officer's visual observations. The onus was on the crown to prove that the Multanova was capable of accurately measuring the speed of the defendant's vehicle, while it is not necessary for the Crown to establish through expert evidence how the particular speed detection device works scientifically, there must be relevant and appropriate evidence on the record from which the court can conclude that the device was functioning properly at the time of the alleged offence. The tests performed on the instrument to ensure its accuracy must be approved tests and these tests must satisfy the trier of fact that the instrument is capable of accurately measuring speed. Something other than simply turning the instrument on and relying on it to test itself is required. The fact (assuming that such a fact was established) that the "self-test" performed in this case is all that is required by the manufacturer does not mean that the test is an "approved test". The "self-test" was insufficient to satisfy the required circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness." (source)
Haywire Speed Camera Flashes the Innocent - 5/7/06
In Cumbria a UK speed camera certified as accurate a few months ago has been sending tickets to innocent motorists.
The speed camera situated in the South Lakeland area of Cumbria had been flashing motorists who were driving at or under the 40 MPH speed limit. The camera partnership responsible for operating the device had recognized the problem only after innocent motorists called to protest the unjust charges. The Cumbria Speed Camera Partnership now says it will not prosecute motorists for driving the speed limit and claims none have been wrongly ticketed.
"The flash on this type of camera is allowed to be set at a different speed to the speed of the penalty threshold," Cumbria Partnership Manager Steve Callaghan explained.
On March 1, 2006 the company RedSpeed International, Ltd. had certified that the device located on the A591 at Ings was 100 percent accurate. RedSpeed is not an independent testing laboratory without a financial stake in the results. Rather, according to the company's website, "Our main function is to market the RedSpeed range of traffic related equipment for traffic law enforcement."
On the Tonight program hosted by Trevor MacDonald the speed trap detector subject was hotly debated by various people including Ernie Harbon who was jailed for refusing to pay a speeding fine, his offence was 38 in a 30 zone.
Because of the open road layout and lack of serious hazards poor Ernie wrongly assumed that it was a 40 zone, so it would seem that at 38mph he thought that he was being a law abiding citizen. That stretch of road has no 30 mph speed limit signs. When Richard Bentley (an independent expert) was consulted, he agreed that that type of road would normally be a 40 zone. Ernie was given the prisoner number JH7915 and locked up with murderers and drug addicts for his crime against society.
Other comments came from Steve Walsh a former traffic cop who supplied evidence that some speed traps have monthly revenue targets that they have to attain. He also said that there is an imbalance between the way that a bad motorist is treated for dangerous driving who may kill or injure somebody and a normally conscienscous driver who strays over the speed limit in seemingly safe conditions. He did say that he supports speed cameras in the right areas. He also went on to say that some speeding convictions are based on spurious radar readings and that this is very common, especially when Rover 2000s, high sided vehicles or Transit vans with roller shutter doors are involved at the time a Gatso camera is activated. One speeding offence seemed to be over 400mph.
One individual interviewed had the title Captain Gatso and is a self styled Gatso vigilante, if he spots a Gatso camera in an area where he doesn't believe it is necessary and is there purely to collect revenue he may damage it in some way, and there are plenty of supporters in his efforts.
Quentin Wilson also spoke out against the inappropriate sighting of speed traps and commented that we haven't seen this sort of civil defiance since the Poll Tax (source)
Gatso's seem to have problems with trucks/high sided vehicles and will give an inaccurate speed reading - even if the truck is stationary! The police are meant to carefully revue all high sided vehicle NIP's before sending them out - so if you get a NIP and you were not speeding (or even moving!), request the photographs and this evidence should easily clear you. Also if you truck has a tacho. check it and if it proves you were not speeding then send them a copy. (source)
Engineer Bryn Carlyon was issued a ticket by a traffic speed camera in Cardiff, UK. But he used multiple timed snaps by the camera, plus a little basic math, to PROVE IN COURT that he could not have been traveling at the speed on his citation. The case was dropped "due to insufficient evidence" and he received an apology from the Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership, but Carlyon won't drop it himself. He's working to overturn the decision for the benefit of mankind: "I need the verdict to say that this was not dropped through lack of evidence -- it was dropped because it was a false prosecution," he told a local reporter. (source)
CAMERA GETS IT WRONG - by CLIFF MOGG
A POLICE speed camera error on the notorious A325 road at Farnborough led to the wrong motorist being prosecuted, it was revealed this week.
Mrs Wendy Fitzpatrick was stunned when she received a fixed penalty notice claiming she had broken the speed limit on the 30mph dual carriageway section of the road earlier this month.
She protested that she had not been speeding – and after initially refusing to budge, the police now agree with her.
In an amazing admission, they said the speed limit was being broken by a car travelling in the opposite direction.
The speed device had clocked that car doing 36mph, but had photographed the number plate of her Vauxhall Astra Estate.
Mrs Fitzpatrick, who lives in Dorset, said on Monday: "How many other motorists has this happened to, with the result that they have been fined and had points placed on their licence?"
"They say the camera never lies, but it did in my case."
She said it was only her inside knowledge of the speed camera system, gained from her previous job, that forced police to admit they had made a mistake.
"If it hadn’t been for my persistence I could have lost my 45-year clean driving record," said Mrs Fitzpatrick who lived in the Farnborough area until two years ago.
She has now written to Hampshire Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan protesting at the stress and worry the incident caused her.
Julian Hewitt, press spokesman for the Safety Camera Partnership which oversees the speed traps, blamed the incident on two human errors and one by a machine.
He said the initial slip-up was caused by the camera operator moving his camera too rapidly between the speeding car and Mrs Fitzpatrick’s vehicle.
"The digitising system that picks up the offences identified the wrong car," he said.
Mr Hewitt said normally such an error was picked up during the rigorous checking system in his office.
"This is a very rare coincidence of three failures in that system, and we are confident that it does not represent a significant problem," he added. (source)
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What is the best defence against each of these speed measuring devices??
Simple! - "Don't speed" - I hear echo amongst the narrow minded. That's fine, and we agree whole heartedly, but "Don't speed and you won't have to pay a fine" assumes three very important things:
So what happens when you are driving down the road, sitting on 80km/h (according to your speedometer) in an 80km/h stretch of road, but you cop a speeding fine?
Dash Mounted radar (aka moving radar) set up in police cars:
The KR10-SP manufactured by Kustom Signals Inc in the USA was one of the first dash mounted radars used in QLD police cars. When transmitting in "constant on" you will be able to detect the long-range radar beam with any reasonable radar detector. Due to the laws governing the use of radar detectors in QLD, only the Bel STi is unable to be detected by the Stalcar RDD
The Genesis Select II dash mounted radar by Decatur Electronics operates on Ka-band. Many old X/K (only) band detectors were caught out when the police began using Ka-band radar as well. The Ka-band radar is not as easy to detect as X or K-band, but as above, you will be able to detect the radar with any good radar detector. Due to the laws governing the use of radar detectors in QLD, only the Bel STi is unable to be detected by the Stalcar RDD
At this point, some people have asked the question about radar jamming.
Your most important question
in purchasing a so-called radar jammer should be "does it work?"
You may have seen them advertised on other websites and some magazines: the passive radar/laser jammers (also known as radar scramblers). Some passive jammers are
Phantom, Phantom II, Phaser or Phazar, the Phantom III and The Black Widow.
Passive radar Jammers DO NOT WORK! These "jammers" are usually manufactured by a company called Rocky Mountain Radar (RMR). We have tested many of their units and we have yet to find one that works as advertised.
Know what to avoid before you purchase such a passive jammer, consider reading the "Jamming Testing Report" by Radar Roy first to find out why we do not sell and/or recommend them.
Active Radar Jammers - Not Much Improvement! You may have also heard of the active radar jammers with the name of Phantom RCD XP or The Scorpion. These do work to a limited degree.
Active radar jammers like those named above, only jam X, K with any success and have difficulty jamming Instant on radar. Their effectiveness against Ka radar is even less, especially at close range. Read a test report on active radar jammers here.
Hand-held laser (aka lidar):
Laser guns are another "deadly" device in that they can calculate your speed in less than a second. Although most radar detectors include a laser sensor, they usually offer little more than a "ticket notifier" when they go off. Having said that, there ARE circumstances where a laser (detector) can and has, provided adequate warning...although these are few and far times in between. Click on the video below and to the left (allow pop-ups) to watch just how quickly a laser acquires a vehicle's speed.
So what is the best defenses against laser? Well, as far as a detector goes, the best at detecting laser is the Valentine One.
Granted we just finished convincing you a detector is useless against laser, but the Valentine One, will give you the best chance of detecting "off-axis" laser from the car in front of you being targeted.
For proof that the Valentine is the best unit at detecting laser, read our 2008 Laser Detector test:
"That being stated, these results suggest that, especially in close-range laser encounters, the Valentine 1 is the top performing laser detector, by a wide-margin, followed by the Escort 8500 X50 and more closely, the STi Driver, and the Beltronics RX65 Pro.."
But as aforementioned, just detecting the laser won't be enough. The most cost effective solution is with the use of Veil anti-laser paint. Veil will give you additional seconds warning time when used in conjunction with a good laser detector. You can read more about Veil in our laser jammers section.
The best defense against laser is by the use of an active laser jammer. Unlike most active radar jammers, active laser jammers do work. An active laser jammer will prevent a speed being displayed for a brief time whilst you adjust your speed if necessary. The best laser jammers for the Australian model LTI Ultralyte according to the Guys Of Lidar 2007 test are the Laser Interceptor and the Blinder. You need to look at the results for the Ultralyte 100pps as these are the laser guns used in Australia. The Laser Pro Park finished fifth in the test against these laser guns.
Mobile Speed Cameras:
Gatso mobile speed cameras in Qld operate on K-band and are always transmitting ("constant on"). For that reason, they are detected with reasonable ease with a decent radar detector. The best radar detector for picking up K-band radar is the Valentine One, but this detector is NOT invisible to police RDD. The only radar detector that is invisible to RDD is the Bel STi.
Fixed Red Light Cameras:
The best product for alerting to a fixed red light camera is a GPS device that stores these locations in a database. Many GPS manufacturers offer products that add this service (called "point of interest") to their navigation products. A GPS based device is perfectly legal to own and operate in Queensland at the time of writing.
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How does each radar detector perform detecting QLD radars, lasers & cameras?
Summary for best radar detector for QLD:
Due to the laws banning the use of a radar detector in Queensland, we cannot recommend the purchase of any "speed evasion article". There are, however, drivers who choose to ignore these laws, and purchase a radar detector anyway. Those doing so, would most likely choose a stealth radar detector, as only stealth radar detectors are 100% invisible to the Stalcar police radar detector detector (see below)
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What are the laws governing the use of radar detectors in QLD
225. (1) A person must not drive a vehicle if the vehicle has in or on it-
(a) a device for preventing the effective use of a speed measuring device; or
(b) a device for detecting the use of a speed measuring device.
Maximum penalty-40 penalty units.
225. (2) Subsection (1) applies to a device whether or not the device is operating or in working order.
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What are the Speeding Fines for QLD?
What are the road fatality statistics for Queensland??
2007 to March
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Summary for police radar, laser and speed cameras in QLD.
If radar detectors were legal to use in the Queensland then the best radar detector would be the Valentine One. However due RD's being banned in QLD, Delonix cannot and will not making any recommendations to you. As mentioned earlier, there are those that choose to ignore the laws banning radar detectors, and buy a Stealth Radar Detector being 100% invisible to detection by police RDDs.