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You are here: DelonixRadar  >  Radar / Laser in Vic

Everything you need to know about police radar, laser and speed cameras in Victoria

1) What are the different types of police radar / laser & speed cameras used in Vic?

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 Vic?

a) If I know I wasn't speeding, how can I challenge / beat a speeding fine

4) What are the road fatality statistics for Victoria?


5) Summary for police radar, laser and speed cameras in Victoria



What Radar / Laser speed measuring devices are used in Vic?

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In Victoria, the police use the following speed measurement devices:

 

Dash Mounted radar (aka moving radar) set up in police cars:

The early dash-mounted radars used in Vic were the KR10-SP manufactured by Kustom Signals Inc in the USA.  These units 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.

 

 

The current dash-mounted radars used in Victoria are the Silver Eagle  radars also manufactured by Kustom Signals Inc of USA.  The Silver Eagle radar also operates on K-band radar around 24.150GHz.  There has also been unconfirmed reports that in Early 2007, a Ka-band radar will be used in Vic patrol cars.  The Ka-band has a smaller antenna head and operates around 35GHz

 

 

 

Hand-held laser (aka lidar):

The Victorian police first used the Prolaser 2 and more recently, now the Prolaser 3 as their choice of hand-held laser.  The Pro laser hand-held Lidar guns operates at a frequency of 904nm, and as per all speed lidar guns, have an extremely narrow divergence compared to a  radar beam, as well as being able to acquire a vehicle's speed in less than one second.  The Kustom Prolaser does not utilize jamming codes, and thus will not alert to a laser jammer being operated (at) the laser gun, as well as being one of the easiest laser guns to jam.

 

 

 

Mobile Speed Cameras:

Victoria has been dubbed the Speed camera capital of Australia, and certainly been the speed camera scandal capital of Australia.   In September 1989 the Victorian Government announced a new road safety strategy to help combat a rising road toll. This included the introduction of 54 new mobile speed cameras. Police were already using cameras to enforce road safety at some high-accident intersections. These cameras took a photograph of vehicles which did not stop at a red light. With the new mobile speed cameras there came an additional 20 red light cameras - bringing the total to 35.  An integral component of this road safety package was the establishment of the Traffic Camera Office in June 1990. The Traffic Camera Office (a division of the police), became responsible for the administration and management of the speed, red light and bus lane cameras throughout Victoria.  In 1998, the operation of the traffic camera equipment was handed over to a private company, Tenix Solutions. This decision meant that police resources could be used in other areas, rather than operating cameras - a job better suited for technicians, rather than law enforcement officers. 

 

Download the Victorian Mobile Speed Camera Site Selection Guidelines

 

 

While the administrative functions were being handled by a private company, the police's Traffic Camera Office retained all their core functions - including the power to prosecute infringements. For example, mobile camera operators are trained and certified to operate under the delegation of the Chief Commissioner of Police.

 

Victoria Police also make all decisions about the rostering of times and locations of all safety cameras.  The company who operates the cameras does not receive bonuses for catching more motorists. Instead, a bonus is paid (or penalty applied) to encourage high levels of quality images taken by the cameras so that infringements are possible.

 

The mobile cameras in Victoria use the Gatsometer MRC system, referred to as the "Gatso Type 24 MRC Slant Radar".  The mobile 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.  The mobile Gatso measures the speed of a vehicle travelling in either or both directions, and takes a photograph of anyone going faster than the speed limit. The camera and speed measurement device is mounted inside an unmarked car, which is often parked on the side of the road. Sometimes, the camera is mounted on a tripod. An operator sits in the vehicle to monitor the camera while it is operating.

 

Tenix Solutions is the company who has been given the contract to operate mobile cameras in Victoria. Victoria Police, through their Traffic Camera Office, retain all the core functions including the power to prosecute infringements.

Before operating the cameras, the staff must complete a special training course. Operators sit an exam set by police and are tested in both theory and practical aspects of speed camera operation.

Set-up of cameras

The radar unit may be set up on a tripod or mounted in a vehicle parked on the side of the road. The radar beam is transmitted at an angle of 20 degrees across the road.

 

Each time the camera is positioned somewhere, the control unit is programmed with specific information. This includes the time, date, film magazine number, speed zone, film type, the direction of the traffic to be covered, as well as the threshold speed.

 

The control unit is then connected to the camera.

 

The camera is just like an ordinary 35mm film-based camera. Instead of the operator pushing the shutter to take a photo, the radar control unit checks the speed of the passing vehicle, and tells the camera when to capture the image.

 

The camera can photograph two speeding vehicles every second.

 

How your speed is checked

Once properly set up, the control unit transmits an invisible radar beam across the road.

As a vehicle travels through the beam, the radar frequency is changed (Doppler effect) and the beam is reflected back to the radar antenna.

 

The antenna receives any signals which arrive from the same 5 degrees by 20 degrees and converts this into the speed of the vehicle. If the vehicle's speed is greater than detection speed set by the operator, a photograph is automatically taken.

 

Location of cameras

Cameras are only operated in areas which have been identified as having speed-related problems. These may be identified as "high risk" roads, based on complaints from members of the public. Mobile cameras are also placed in accident black spots.

 

Mobile cameras can be used anywhere throughout Victoria at any time of the day or night.

The camera operator is not allowed to disguise their vehicle in any way. Placing a "For Sale" sign on the camera car, or opening the bonnet to give the impression of a vehicle that has broken down is forbidden.

Download a fact sheet that explains the mathematic and physics principles behind how mobile cameras work.

 

 

Fixed Speed Cameras:

There are currently fixed speed camera sites located on the Monash Freeway and in the CityLink tunnels.  These speed cameras take digital images. Instead of using film like a normal 35mm camera, they capture images directly to computer.  The system measures the speed of a passing vehicle using sensors buried in the road surface. There are three strips of sensors that are spaced at regular intervals.  The sensors work using piezoelectricity. Each sensor outputs an electric pulse as the wheels of the vehicle pass over them.  As a vehicle passes over the top of the piezo sensors in the road surface, an electric signal is sent to the camera system.

The speed measurement device measures the time between the arrival of the first and second pulses between the pulses and the time it takes a vehicle to travel between the sensors. If a motorist is travelling too fast, the system tells the camera to take an image of the passing vehicle.

 

 

Finally, Victoria hare incorporated a fixed point to point speed camera system. The system comprises of two linked cameras, many km apart.  The first camera will digitally record the number plate of a vehicle as it passes. The second camera will take another, time-recorded, snapshot when the vehicle passes it. The cameras know how long it takes to legally cover the distance between the two points, so If the vehicle has reached the second camera too soon, it must have travelled above the speed limit for some of the way. Five cameras will monitor a stretch of the Hume Freeway between the Western Ring Road to about 80 kilometers outside Melbourne. Large flashing signs will mark all cameras.
 

"They're highly visible," said Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby. "They're
mainly situated in the median strip area and there's nothing at all covert about them. They're quite substantial structures."
 

The cameras will be introduced in conjunction with parabolic cameras on the Western Ring Road. Police hope the new cameras will reduce the Easter holidays road toll.
 

"The difference with the point to point (cameras) is that it's a simple mathematical equation," said Mr Ashby. "It will catch those motorists that slow down for the single site cameras and speed up in the areas between."
 

Mr Ashby said police had consulted widely before deciding to introduce the cameras, and would publicise their introduction.
 

As with existing mobile and fixed cameras, the new cameras will include a "legislative tolerance" for motorists who have exceeded the speed limit by
a small amount.
 

A multiple infringement policy means motorists will not be booked several times over the same stretch of road.
 

RACV general manager for public policy Ken Ogden said he supported the new cameras but called on police and the State Government to ensure the public
knew about their benefits.
 

"We don't object to automated enforcement where there is a clear road safety benefit," Dr Ogden said. "I think it is absolutely essential that the
 

Government explains to the public what the road safety benefit is of this technology." 

 

Photo enforcement in Victoria (source)

Is a statewide program that is not focused on a single community.  The photo enforcement operation is on a much larger scale of operation than in Edmonton. Victoria is considered a leader in photo enforcement and employs mobile photo radar vans, fixed photo radar cameras and intersection safety cameras that include "speed on green" violations.  Another type of photo enforcement uses point-to-point cameras on rural roads to photograph a vehicle passing a stationary camera at one point on the road and 60 km down the road a second photograph is taken. The time needed to travel from the first camera to the second camera at the speed limit is calculated and if the vehicle passes the second camera before the calculated time elapses a photograph is taken for a speeding offence. This type of photo enforcement is used to decrease the point in time measurement of a vehicles speed and to mitigate against drivers increasing and decreasing their speed along rural roads. As long as the average speed of the vehicle across the 60 km is equal to the speed limit a second photograph will not be taken. If a second photograph is not taken the first is automatically deleted from the memory card to protect the individual's identity. The State of Victoria currently has identified almost 3,000 photo radar locations as well as eighty intersection camera locations that monitor speed through the intersection and red light infractions. Currently, the total number of hours of operation of all cameras is 7,500 hours/month with a predominant distribution of cameras in urban rather than rural areas. The population covered by photo enforcement in the State of Victoria is approximately 5 million people. Victoria's operation is much more "covert" than Edmonton's. The presence of photo enforcement is not indicated by signage and units are hidden from the sight of drivers. The following is a description of photo enforcement in the State of Victoria, broken into the processes outlined by the value chain.

 

Deployment is under the control of the Victoria Police Service (VPS). The VPS has created operational policy guidelines, similar to Alberta's guidelines, which are used to determine locations for photo enforcement. These guidelines include:

  • Trauma history.

  • Risk of road trauma

  • Consideration of local conditions relating to technical operational feasibility.

  • History and risk of motorists breaking the law at a particular location.

Guidelines specifically for mobile speed camera locations include:

  • A documented history of serious and major injury collisions within the previous 12 months.

  • The subject of a validated written complaint of excessive speeds, resulting in a written assessment by a Victoria Police Traffic Management Unit officer indicating that driver behavior demonstrates a significant risk of speed related collisions.

  • Assessed by a Victoria Police Traffic Management Unit officer as posing a significant risk of speed related collisions.

Guidelines specifically for fixed photo radar camera locations include:

  • Confirmed high incidence of speeding.

  • High traffic volume.

Victoria Roads assist in deployment by supplying crash and collision data to the VPS.

 

Delivery

Photos taken by the intersection safety cameras and the fixed cameras are downloaded daily from the location to a central site for processing. As well, van operators bring the photos and data from the mobile cameras back to the central site for processing. Tenix Pty Limited (Tenix) is responsible for processing the photos and determining if a violation has occurred. Once the photos have gone through final processing they are linked to Victoria Roads database, which brings up the data for the vehicle's registered owner to check against the photo and the recorded data from mobile cameras. If there is any doubt about the vehicle in the photo or there are obstructing objects the photo is discarded.

 

Issuance

Violation tickets are printed by Tennix and include the actual speed measured and the alleged speed, which is three kilometers below the measured speed. The violation ticket is sent to the vehicle's registered owner without a photograph. The vehicle's registered owner has the option to nominate a different person as the driver and the nominated individual receives the demerits with the fine.

 

Adjudication

The person nominated for the violation ticket is able to pay their fine through a virtual court

system. If the fine is paid within 28 days there are no additional charges. If the fine is not paid within 28 days then an administrative fee is added to the fine and another 28 days are granted for payment. Following this period the violation is referred to court.

 

Fines are paid to the Department of Justice and become part of general revenue that is allocated to all areas of the government.

 

Analysis

Tenix produces monthly reports that include:

  • The number of cars passing a given camera;

  • The percentage of cars exceeding the speed limit by

    • 7km/h

    • 10km/h

    • over 10km/h

  • Graphs of the percentage of offenders in an area over time;

  • The number of hours of camera use in a zone; and

  • Spider graphs are used to analyze crash rates and the number of hours cameras are used in an area. Spider graphs plot aggregate data over a 24-hour period for a single day. The graph displays concentric circles indicating the number of hours of camera use against the crash rate in a zone. A mismatch in the number of camera hours and the crash rates in the area indicate the need for increased enforcement in the area.

Maintenance and Installation of Equipment

The Department of Justice is responsible for calling tenders, developing the required specifications for the photo enforcement site, executing contracts and ensuring that installation is correct as per design. Justice is also responsible for camera installation and operation quality assurance and for maintaining the equipment, although maintenance is currently contracted out to Tenix. Maintenance and installation is the responsibility of Tenix and they maintain all photo enforcement equipment. Cameras are recalibrated and sealed by Tenix and the accuracy of the photo radar equipment is validated by the VPS to ensure that the equipment is accurate.

 

Innovation

The VPS contract with Tenix provides an incentive for innovation. The contract consists of two parts: (1) a flat fee structure; (2) a sum of money that is tied to the percentage of successful traffic violation tickets. The higher the percentage of successful tickets (those tickets without spoilage) the more money Tenix receives from its photo enforcement contract. This provides an incentive for Tenix to identify and use the latest technology that provides the best quality for photo enforcement. This has moved Tenix to use the most recent digital technology for their cameras phasing out wet film cameras.

 

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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 Silver Eagle dash mounted moving radars are accurate to ± 2km/h in stationary mode and ± 3km/h in moving mode

 

The Prolaser 3 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?

Download the Victorian Mobile Speed Camera Policy Manual

 

 

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.  Victoria was the first state to set a precedence with the Government having to repay 26 million dollars in unjust fines from faulty speed cameras.

 

Victorian Government in Damage Control (source)

VICTORIAN Police Minister Tim Holding has overturned the Government's longstanding resistance to revealing the locations of speed cameras, listing 2593 potential mobile camera sites statewide.

 

Despite his predecessor's claim that divulging the locations of mobile speed cameras would undermine their deterrent effect, Mr Holding said yesterday he wanted to reassure motorists the cameras were deployed properly.

 

But the locations of cameras on a daily basis would not be revealed because motorists should not be encouraged to slow down only at specific locations.

 

"We believe it's time to move on from the debate about where potential speed cameras can be located and instead focus the debate on the things that we can do as a community to get motorists to slow down," Mr Holding said.

 

He said more than 30 per cent of serious crashes in Victoria were related to speeding, and the Opposition's policy of encouraging greater tolerance of speeding would lead to more accidents.

 

Releasing the Victoria Police speed camera manual, which sets out where mobile cameras may be located, Mr Holding said he wanted a "transparent, open and accountable" policy and to show cameras were not put in "sneaky locations".

 

"This manual puts to bed some of the myths about the deployment of speed cameras," he said.

 

The manual suggests that speed cameras not be located on downhill sections of road, on bends, or within 200 metres of a change in the speed limit. But exceptions are made for sites with a history of major speed-related crashes, children's crossings and school zones.

 

Speed camera vehicles are not to be disguised as breakdowns and camera equipment is not to be hidden by posts, rubbish bins or vegetation.

 

Opposition Leader Robert Doyle said the Government's changed stance demonstrated "breathtaking hypocrisy". He said the Opposition had repeatedly called for the sites to be made public.

 

"A little more than two years ago, Labor was accusing the Liberal Party of encouraging speeding with this policy, but is today prepared to adopt that policy following a Liberal Party and media campaign," Mr Doyle said.

 

RACV public policy general manager Ken Ogden applauded the release of the camera sites and said a mix of overt and covert enforcement measures was the right approach for road safety. He said the public would now know where the cameras could be without knowing whether they were functioning on a given day.

 

"Our view is that enforcement is an important part of road safety but the cameras should be located at sites where there is a speed safety problem," Dr Ogden said.

 

NSW police alert drivers to the presence of mobile speed cameras with warning signs, and in specific campaigns during holiday periods will alert drivers to speed camera locations.

 

A NSW police spokeswoman said the warning was considered appropriate because drivers would not necessarily know they had been caught speeding as they would not receive an on-the-spot fine. "A lot of these cameras are placed at black spots where we need people to slow down, and if that's happening, that's a good thing," she said.

 

Victorian Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby said police took account of practices interstate, but set policy according to what was best for the state.

"Victorians ought never forget that we are world leaders in road safety," Mr Ashby said. He said the mobile cameras were supported by hand-held radar and mobile radar equipment in rural Victoria.

 

Mr Ashby denied that releasing mobile camera locations was a response to public pressure.

 

State speed cameras to be tested (source)

By Jamie Berry, Richard Baker
November 11, 2003

Police have ordered tests on all Victoria's speed cameras after another suspect camera was detected and taken out of operation.

 

In the latest incident, a fixed camera in the Burnley Tunnel recorded a truck travelling at 174 km/h in an 80 km/h zone on October 23. The Volvo F Series truck has a maximum speed of about 140 km/h.

 

Last month a fixed speed camera on the Western Ring Road at Deer Park came into question after it recorded a small Datsun sedan, almost 30 years old, travelling at 158 km/h.

 

Vanessa Bridges doubted her car could travel that fast and paid to get it professionally tested. Mechanics said the car's top speed was 117 km/h.

 

After that first incident, acting Assistant Commissioner (Traffic) Bob Hastings expressed confidence that there were no problems with the rest of the speed camera network. "There's no evidence to support that any of the other cameras are malfunctioning . . . in any other way," Mr Hastings told reporters last month.

 

Yesterday Mr Hastings said the latest incident was an embarrassment. "It's embarrassing for everybody," he said. "Technology is technology and I think we have had indications where it doesn't say the right thing."

 

Mr Hastings said he wanted the community to have confidence in speed enforcement. "Most of our cameras are doing what's required of them and that is detecting speed at the right speed," he said.

 

All speed cameras in Victoria - including the 65 new red-light/speed cameras now being installed - are to be tested following the latest incident.

 

RACV public policy manager Ken Ogden said Victorians were disillusioned with speed cameras. "The public disquiet with speed enforcement has to be addressed and the best way to do that is to put the proceeds from speeding fines back into road safety," he said.

Premier Steve Bracks said yesterday that he maintained full confidence in the speed camera system despite revelations about the inaccuracy of the Burnley Tunnel camera.

 

"The fact that the police verification system found there was an error and have corrected that and not issued a fine is proof that the system is being monitored . . . effectively and well," Mr Bracks said.

 

He said Victoria was on track to record its lowest road toll in years and his Government would continue to focus on speeding motorists. The state's road toll is 288, compared to 338 at the same time last year.

 

State Opposition Leader Robert Doyle yesterday said he would not be surprised if motorists launched a class action lawsuit against the Government over inaccurate speed cameras.

"These speed cameras need to be accurate, their readings need to be valid or else the public will completely lose confidence. I think we're already on the way to that," Mr Doyle said.

 

"This does nothing to prove up what Steve Bracks is saying about speed cameras being about road safety - they are not," he said. "Obviously they're about revenue. Why can't they even get this right?"

 

Mr Doyle said the Government should reconsider the contract with speed camera operator Tenix, given the recent problems with inaccurate readings.

 

Victoria's speed camera saga continues (source)

There's enough resentment of speed cameras amongst Australia's motoring community that the saga of Victoria's nightmare over faulty speed cameras hasn't attracted much public sympathy.

In fact, the Government's been left with a whopping bill and a public relations disaster.

Critics say failed technology may have created the problem, but Government mismanagement turned it into a full-blown disaster.

Mick Bunworth reports.

JILL COLGAN: It's a breach of trust that's left Melbourne motorists questioning the very system that is supposed to make their roads safer.

CHRIS DALE, VICTORIAN LAW INSTITUTE: I think where perhaps great amounts of revenue are being derived through speed cameras, there's perhaps an unwillingness to think that modern technology could be defective, but clearly it was.

MICK BUNWORTH: Vanessa Bridges was one of the first to challenge the accuracy of fixed speed cameras on Melbourne's Western Ring Road six months ago.

Vanessa's car was clocked at 158km/h by a fixed camera - a speed she knew was well beyond the 4-cylinder Datsun 120Y which has been putting along for close to 30 years.

After unsuccessfully querying the fine, Vanessa faced a mandatory loss of licence, but rather than trusting the technology she sought another opinion.

VANESSA BRIDGES: We got the car tested not only for the maximum speed it could go, which we found out it could only be 117km/h, but we also did a test on the actual speedometer and we found that when the needle was on 100 the car was actually only doing 90.

This is the fine that I received.

The police still dug their heels in and they said, "Oh, no, no no, the fine still stays.

We're not dropping the fine at all," and I even ended up receiving a letter in the mail saying that, "Oh, yes, the letter of rejection has been accepted and your court date will be advised shortly."

So, it was very stressful and I was basically treated like a criminal, and it was horrible - absolutely horrible.

MICK BUNWORTH: It was only when more motorists complained of inaccurate readings that the cameras were tested and found to be faulty.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Poltech, the company the Government had contracted to supply the cameras, went into administration.

VANESSA BRIDGES: We'll be investigating all legal options against Poltech International, which was contracted by Vic Roads to install, to maintain and to fix the cameras while they were under warranty.

MICK BUNWORTH: But Poltech's administrator says as far as he's aware when the company offered the Victorian Government a maintenance contract it was rejected.

The reason's not clear, but it's not as if money was an issue.

In the previous year, the Government had managed to recoup around $176 million from speed cameras.

STEVE BRACKS, VICTORIAN PREMIER: You can't just sheet home the responsibility onto the operator and say, "Well, you know, it was a delegated responsibility."

I think the Government needs to ensure that there is proper maintenance and to oversee it.

We're talking very large sums of revenue.

MICK BUNWORTH: In the past six months, motorists using other roads - the Citylink tollway and Monash Freeway in particular - have also reported discrepancies.

The Law Institute says the Government's tardiness in dealing with faulty speed cameras would be unacceptable in the commercial world.

CHRIS DALE: Companies every day have to respond far more quickly to product fault and take it upon themselves - a self-imposed plan - to communicate to consumers, recall product and disgorge any monies obtained from those products, and they do so voluntarily and they do so far more speedily.

What we say is that in the total context a 6-month period is a very long time and it's certainly led to a great deal of inconvenience, and in some cases a sustainable loss.

MICK BUNWORTH: The Victorian Government has announced it will reimburse fines paid by 90,000 motorists on the Western Ring Road at a cost of almost $14 million.

It's also established a $6 million fund for motorists seeking compensation for hardship suffered due to incorrect licence cancellation.

CHRIS DALE: As this experience has shown, if things go wrong it's government that gets it in the neck.

MICK BUNWORTH: While the Victorian Government has appointed former Auditor-General Ches Baragwanath to investigate the handling of the Western Ring Road's contract, the RACV says fixed speed cameras need a more permanent watchdog.

DR KEN OGDEN, ROYAL AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF VICTORIA: This has always been our concern about the accuracy and indeed the deployment of speed cameras, that it's very important that it is seen by the public as being related to road safety, that it's accurate, and that it's not about revenue raising.

MICK BUNWORTH: Like Victoria, the ACT uses fixed Poltech cameras but they're independently certified and calibrated by the CSIRO.

NSW Roads and Traffic Authority took six months to test its fixed cameras, some of which were supplied by Poltech, and says the review turned up no inaccuracies.

Tasmania also has some Poltech fixed speed cameras, but, again, no problems have been reported.

Fixed speed cameras are not used in South Australia or Western Australia.

The RACV's Dr Ken Ogden says transparency is the key.

DR KEN OGDEN: Independent auditing is of course perfectly normal in the private sector with the books being audited.

We would like to see that analogy carried over here so that if somebody has a complaint there's an independent body that they can appeal to.

MICK BUNWORTH: Victorian Premier Steve Bracks declined the 7.30 Report's request for an interview.

The Opposition argues the Government rushed fixed speed cameras into service.

ROBERT DOYLE, VICTORIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: Because they wanted these big dollars, they rolled out all of these speed cameras far too early without a proper maintenance schedule, and now they've been caught with a bill of $26 million to pay back motorists who have been unfairly fined.

MICK BUNWORTH: With fixed speed cameras gradually being introduced across Australia, there seems little doubt other jurisdictions will be double-checking their maintenance systems in the wake of Victoria's costly speed camera fiasco.

VANESSA BRIDGES: I think a lot of innocent people will be less trustworthy of these cameras and I - yeah, I think it will take a long while before people regain their confidence again in the camera system.

 

14/11/2003
VANESSA Bridges was celebrating yesterday - right on the bonnet of the little old Datsun that helped bring down Victoria's speed camera system.

Months after being snapped at an impossible 158km/h in 30-year-old "Charlie", she was told that a $430 speeding fine, which carried eight demerit points and a one-year licence cancellation, had been withdrawn.
"It's just unbelievable," Ms Bridges said. "I'm so stunned at how far it's gone."

In July, Ms Bridges was booked at 41km/h above the speed limit on the Western Ring Rd at Deer Park.

She contested the fine after checks found her car could not go faster than 117km/h.

Two weeks ago, police conceded the camera that nabbed Ms Bridges was faulty.

Now, fines from the state's 47 fixed speed cameras have been frozen after a third malfunctioning camera was detected.

"I think it's a long time coming. They should have withdrawn it ages ago, when we proved the car couldn't do that speed. It's silly," Ms Bridges said.

 

 

Victorian Liberals to Scrap Hidden Traps (source)

Robert Doyle
 

VICTORIA'S hidden speed traps will be scrapped and there will be greater tolerance in the enforcement of speed limits under a future Liberal government, the party's state leader says.
 

Opposition Leader Robert Doyle pledged to "end Victoria's covert speed camera regime" by making speed camera vehicles identifiable and by publishing the location of speed camera sites.
 

He also said a future Liberal government would reintroduce the 10 per cent speed zone tolerance whereby drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by up to 10 per cent would not be booked.
 

Mr Doyle said it was unfair to fine people travelling a few kilometres over the speed limit, "particularly when the equipment cannot be measured that accurately".
 

"While we want people to slow down, we don't want to slug them unfairly," Mr Doyle said.
 

"At the moment, the Bracks Government is just collecting revenue, it's not about road safety."
 

Mr Doyle said highly visible speed camera vehicles were a better deterrent than receiving a fine in the mail one month after speeding.
 

The Liberals' plan also includes setting up speed cameras at dangerous, not high revenue, sites and rationalising "confusing" speed zones, he said.
 

Other measures include a plan to establish six driver education centres around the state, setting aside $4 million so learner drivers can receive three professional lessons and a requirement for learners to record 120 hours of driving practice in a log book.
 

The Liberals would also abolish the CBD and inner suburbs long-term parking tax, which began on January 1 at $400 and will double next year, reinstate the $80 car registration rebate for pensioners and encourage the use of public transport through free park-and-ride car parks at railway stations and bus interchanges.
 

 

Victorian Speed Cameras Most Despised (source)

Victorians are distrustful of speed cameras and disdainful of their ability to save lives, a survey released today shows.
 

Figures from motor insurance company AAMI show 64 per cent of Victorians believe speeding fines are primarily a revenue raising exercise, while 58 per cent of those surveyed indicated they didn't trust the accuracy of the machines. The state ranked first in both categories.
 

Victorian Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder believes the statistics show people are confused about laws regarding speed cameras.
 

"There is an awful lot of unknown with the system at the moment and that distrust has been created out of failure of equipment, failure to maintain equipment and a hidden law that no one understands," Mr Mulder said.
 

"They are also angry about the fact that there have been so many mistakes with speed camera equipment. They have no assurances that it's now operating accurately," he added. In a policy launch last week, the Opposition announced it would, among other things, publish the locations of all speed cameras in Victoria and fix the cameras' tolerance levels at 10 per cent.
 

In a statement, a spokesman for Victorian TAC Minister John Lenders said drivers put their lives at risk by breaking the speed limit and that it was never safe to speed.
 

Police declined to comment on the survey, with a spokeswoman saying police normally didn't comment on surveys done by outside bodies.
 

The new statistics were gleaned from the claims data of the car insurer and a survey of 2,400 people nationwide.
 

The release of the data follows an Easter holiday period marred by three road deaths in Victoria, and police also caught a P-plate driver travelling at more than 80kph over the speed limit.
 

"The weekend toll, and our research, suggests Victorians are failing to respect the laws and the value of human life, including their own," AAMI public affairs manager Geoff Hughes said today.
 

"We have seen drivers of all ages, both on motorcycles and in cars, driving at ridiculous and excessive speeds."
 

Meanwhile, 29 per cent of Victorian motorists also admit they will "sometimes speed to get to work or home sooner", according to the data.
 

"Speed cameras and speeding fines clearly have an image problem on Victorian roads," Mr Hughes said.
 

"But it is still no excuse for speeding and putting lives at risk."
 

The research also found 17 per cent of Victorian motorists admit to speeding more on country roads, and 11 per cent often sped on local suburban roads and around schools.

 

Melbourne Speed Cameras are coming back (source)

 

The Speed Cameras have returned to CityLink and the Monash Freeway in Melbourne.

 

The Victorian State Government is confident about the accuracy of fixed speed cameras coming back into operation. The cameras were removed in May when faults were detected with cameras on the Western Ring Road. At the same time, police expect the number of motorists detected speeding in the city link tunnels to return to the levels prior to the cameras being removed.

The Assistant Commissioner for Traffic, Bob Hastings, says the cameras had detected around 150 speeding motorists per day, although the majority of drivers do seem to be getting the anti-speeding message.

The Police Minister, Andre Haermeyer, says a back-up verification system has been installed on the camera system and drivers can have faith the speed readings are accurate. "If they challenge the first test, there's a second test that can tell us whether they have or haven't been speeding, so we're very confident about the accuracy of these cameras, we're very confident about the reliability" he said.

The Police Minister, Andre Haermeyer, says fixed speed cameras are yet to be reinstated on the Western Ring Road, but 'mobile' cameras will be used for the time being. "We expect them to come back on line by late next year, however, in the mean time we have constructed some bunkers along the Western Ring Road which will enable mobile cameras to operate with relative safety," he said.

Do you trust them? Have you noticed any change in the way people have been driving while the cameras haven't been working? 774's Derek Guille explored these questions with plenty of road users calling in with their opinions.

Hear these conversations by clicking on the 'Audio 30/11/04' link below.

But the story doesn't stop there!

The State Opposition says figures released under Freedom of Information further undermine confidence in Victoria's speed cameras. It has released documents showing a three kilometre an hour difference between the readings on many mobile speed cameras and the readings on hand held cameras when pointed at the same car.

Police Minister Andre Haermeyer says the difference between the readings on the cameras is not how their accuracy is determined. However, Transport Spokesman, Terry Mulder, says the desparity between negates the discretion given to motorists before they're booked for speeding.

The State Government has defended the procedures used to test the accuracy of mobile speed cameras. The Opposition has released documents it says prove motorists continue to be booked by inaccurate cameras.

The Police Minister, Andre Hayermeyer, has told Parliament, if the difference between the two cameras is more than three kilometres and hour, the camera is removed from operation.

Each camera is verified a number of times a day so each time it relocates to a new location it is verified against a hand held camera, they are not required by legislation to do this but they do this themselves anyhow to give themselves the satisfaciton that those cameras are accurate.

Virginia Trioli continued the discussion the following afternoon asking listeners if they are confident in the new cameras?

Hear these conversations by clicking on the 'Audio 1/12/04' link below.


Audio 30/12/04

Derek Guille explored these questions with road users during the Evening Program 


Audio 1/12/04

Virginia Trioli continued the discussion the following afternoon asking listeners if they are confident in the new cameras?

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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:

"Speed cameras play an important role in detecting speeding motorists and I think everybody would love to think the cameras play a good deterrent role. But the problem is you have to have confidence that they work properly and if they don't than the public will lose confidence in them and they'll lose their deterrent value."

 

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 Silver and Golden Eagle dash mounted radars are manufactured by Kustom Signals Inc in the USA.  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 Vic, only stealth radar detectrors are unable to be detected by the Stalcar RDD

 

 

If the Ka-band Silver Eagle II does indeed come out in Vic, then similarly to the K-band unit, a decent radar detector will detect this radar when used in "constant on" mode.  If the radar is only switched on when a vehicle is in range, you are relying on a vehicle in front of you begin targeted, thus setting off your detector.  If you are the only vehicle on the road and you're targeted with "instant on" your toast!

 

 

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 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 Vic 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.

 

Download a complete list of Victoria Police mobile speed camera locations

 

 

Fixed Speed Cameras:

The best product for alerting to a fixed speed and red light cameras 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 Victoria at the time of writing.

 

 

 

 

 

Download a list of fixed speed camera locations

 

 

Download a list of fixed red light / speed camera locations

 

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How does each radar detector perform detecting Vic radars, lasers & cameras?

 


Summary for best radar detector for Vic:

 

Due to the laws banning the use of a radar detector in Victoria, 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 Vic?

(1) A person must not own, sell, use or possess a device the sole or principal purpose of which is to prevent the effective use of a prescribed speed measuring device or to detect when a prescribed speed measuring device is being used.

 

 Penalty: 20 penalty units.

 

 (2) A person must, if required to do so by a member of the police force or an officer of the Corporation or an employee in the Department of Infrastructure (being an officer or employee authorised in writing by the Corporation or the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, as the case requires, in that behalf), surrender to that member or officer or employee any device referred to in sub-section (1).

 

 Penalty: 5 penalty units.

 

  (3) A court that convicts a person of an offence against sub-section (1) or before which a person is charged with an offence against sub-section (1) of which the person is found guilty or to which the person pleads guilty and in respect of which a conviction is not recorded may order that the device by means of which the offence was committed be forfeited to the Government of Victoria.

 

 (4) All devices forfeited under sub-section (3) must be destroyed or otherwise is posed of as the Chief Commissioner of Police directs.

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What are the Speeding Fines for Vic? (source)

 

Exceeding the Speed Limit Penalty (1/7/06) Demerit Points Automatic License Suspension
In a car less than 10km/h $134 1 point  
10km/h - 24km/h $215 3 points  
25km/h - 34km/h $285 4 points One month
35km/h - 44km/h $387 6 points Six months
45km/h + $462 8 points Twelve Months
In a 110km.h zone by 20km/h, but less than 25km/h $215 3 points One month
Own / Use unregistered car $537    
Failure of corporation to nominate the driver $645    

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What are the road fatality statistics for Victoria??

 

Year

Road Fatalities

1997

377

1998

390

1999

383

2000

407

2001

444

2002

397

2003

330

2004

343

2005

346

2006

337

2007 to March

79

 

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Summary for police radar, laser and speed cameras in Vic.

 

If radar detectors were legal to use in the Victoria then the best radar detector would be the Valentine One.  However due RD's being banned in Vic, 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.

 

For more information on speed cameras and fighting fines in Vic, we suggest you visit Fight Fines

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