Cameras vital in curbing drivers’ apparent need for speed: RACQ

RACQ has reinforced the need for speed cameras as one of the key tools in slowing down motorists and saving the lives of Queensland roads.

The calls came as the Courier Mail reported the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) analysis of State Budget figures revealed the Labor Government had prepared for a $520 million a year windfall from speed cameras and other fines, with an expected 30 percent increase in revenue by 2022.

LNP and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington told the Courier Mail the cameras allowed Queenslanders to be treated as “cash cows” with a single speed camera costing almost $5000 an hour.

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said speed cameras, and a greater visible police presence on the roads, were equally important tools in curbing the problem, with revenue from speed camera fines also reinvested into road safety programs.

“We’re well aware many drivers think speed cameras are just about revenue raising, and that’s why we sit on committees which look at the locations of cameras through a strict process – including sites with a crash history, or complaints from the public,” Mr Spalding said.

“Speed cameras go a long way in putting the spotlight on drivers who continue to risk their lives speeding across Queensland. On top of that, the legislation also states funds from speed cameras must go back into road safety education and prevention programs.

“While we agree with the LNP, and have had a long-standing view, that visible policing is the best approach for speed deterrence, cameras are a valid way of improving speed enforcement. To call them ‘revenue raisers’ simply confuses and dilutes the road safety message.”

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Mr Spalding said with the 2018 road toll up 18 fatalities when compared to this time last year, all road users needed to focus on their own safety on the roads and ensure they complied with the road rules.

“We have already lost 179 lives on our roads this year, and we know speeding plays a role in at least 20 percent of those fatal crashes,” he said.

“Speeding kills, and yet many Queenslanders are still going too fast. It’s pretty simple – if you don’t want to pay a speeding fine, then stick to the limit.”