CHOICE membership

Speed Trap Subterfuge


My ‘enough’ was when Vic changed the camera rules to allow them to be hidden at the bottom of hills where it is all too easy to unintentionally have one’s speed creep up a bit. It revealed the cameras as nothing but a money grabbing opportunity. Prior to that I did not support cameras but accepted they were at least operated with some ‘safety mindedness’.

While many do, I continue to see more than just a few wizz by those doing the posted limit. I also see (anecdotally) an increasing number of drivers who tail gate (bully), lane shift to try gaining a car length time and time again in the same few blocks often without signalling, and so on. But it is all good for them since they don’t speed by a ‘safety camera’ :roll_eyes:

An honest question is whether it is more dangerous for everyone to be going (say) 5 kph over the posted limit all together (or mostly), or having 95% at the posted limit and 5% weaving and dodging to get by them.


If something is observed often enough the behaviour is no longer an anecdote?

The errant behaviour observed is a sign that the drivers who do so have a different mindset. It is the sort of behaviour that vehicles fitted with a locked GPS device could identify and aid in modifying poor driving habits? If this sounds like ‘nanny state’ thinking it is, but perhaps it is the penultimate solution short of absolute bans for many driving.

For many of our roads there is little traffic, but for the major arterials most of us join the que and go with the flow, slow, slower, a bit faster, a bit slower, a …

P.S. I’ve the same anecdote. I also wonder why the drivers on the motorways in the UK seem to have a different style or approach to traffic?


Anecdotally: according to or by means of personal accounts rather than facts or research.

Since I have not recorded any of it, let alone in any organised or scientific way, I can only share my anecdotal observations. :wink:


I absolutely understand the desire of all to get from point A to B in the fastest possible time, I know I used to go at any speed that my vehicle was capable of doing on certain open speed limit roads. If you want a faster speed limit on a section of road then perhaps the relevant authorities need to be persuaded to change the limits on sections where faster speeds can be safely tolerated for all.

At what point over the speed limit is it then going to be allowable? If you allow some people to then, because they are 95%, 90%, 80% of the public or even perhaps 51% (hence a majority), to exceed the speed limit by any amount eg perhaps 10 kph or 20 or 30 as they are all in a row, at what point do you then say it is too fast and how do you regulate/enforce the safety for everyone else if they are doing it on every road and at every opportunity? As an example if everyone travels at 150 kph down a 50 kph suburban road with children and houses on both sides then by the logic expressed that because they all travel at the same speed it is therefore allowable is still not in reality a safe choice. You picked 5 kph but then the next lot will try for 10 kph if you are just talking tolerance for excess. If they increase the speed limit to 65 (for a previously 60 zone) to accommodate the 5 kph increase then a lot will then push it to 70, then the next choice will be they increase the limit to 70 and so a lot of drivers will try for 75 and so on it goes. A bit basic in simple terms I know, but still there will be a lot who push that envelope because they believe they can safely do it.

I also remember my driving instructor telling me to use gears and/or braking as I descended hills, and other declines so that my speed did not exceed the posted limit, and was in fact below the posted maximum limit. The choice to exceed the speed is always in the driver’s control (unless some failure or accident has caused loss of control). The other failures of some drivers to observe safe driving habits such as tail gating, failure to observe proper usage of roundabouts, failure to indicate, talking/texting on mobile phones, drink driving comes down to the failure to respect the law (and safety for others).


That was not the point. The point was the roads are arguably safer when all the traffic is going at the same speed, whatever that might be within reason. If you have 90% going the speed limit or less, there are a few who are going to be dodging, weaving, and tailgating to go around or bully others to speed up. That is arguably more dangerous than if 100% went a few kph over, all together, at the same speed.

edit: assume 95% are on the limit and the 5% are jockeying and overtaking and tailgating but spending time in the queue so cannot speed (for the moments) excepting the periods they are overtaking. How does the camera make the roads safer? Unless the culprit has a bit of bad luck and gets photographed during an overtaking manoeuvre, nobody is a bad driver in its lens and everyone is driving safely (in the posted limit).

If one allows if everyone was going 5 kph over and magically nobody tailgated or tried to overtake, the whole lot of them would receive fines in the post 2 or 3 weeks later. Does that make the roads safer?


We had open speed here forever until Labor finally got into power and removed it - many sections of road for many years with no extraordinary evidence it led to levels of mayhem not seen elsewhere where limits existed. Libs got back in, upgraded sections of road between Alice and Barrow Creek, and reintroduced a de-restricted speed zone as an initial part of their election promise. Of course they lost the next one, Labor got back in and removed it all again, for safety reasons of course even though there were no accidents attributed to the de-restricted zone. It’s all been about politics and revenue raising, though given the NT government appears to be broke I guess the revenue raising isn’t working out particularly well for them :wink: It’s obviously well advised to abide by the law, but it’s damn hard to ‘respect’ it, especially when it’s so difficult to respect the muppets who implement it.

Anecdotally (of course) the first 110 KM from the high point marker to Aileron could in theory be covered easily in under 30 minutes - but very few people who advocate high speed and dream of open limits stop to consider the pure financial cost of doing so - One could tell a story of a round trip consuming over 30 litres of fuel and a good portion of a set of tyres - and that’s on a bike … there are still practical limits (I almost can’t believe I typed that, but it is true …)


A road safety message I just received in response to a petition on

The suggestion of providing these sort of safety messages seems like a great idea, and they may be far more effective than speed traps hidden in the bushes.


Not so sure.

Smoking has had provocative health warnings for many decades and these warnings are only part of a solution. Usually cost (hit at the hip pocket) is more effective.

The other aspect is " it will never happen to me" comes into play.


My question in regards to the ever increasing number of speed cameras, especially the hidden ones, is if any drivers actually take their eyes off the speedometer and bother to look through the windscreen and check their mirrors?. I would have thought this rated highly in regards to safety.


Skillfull drivers?
Maintaining a steady controlled speed while observing the road ahead would seem a very basic skill?

Operation of a vehicle requires the driver to perform numerous simultaneous tasks. A degree of skill ensures successful outcomes.

Yes, I too womder if all of our fellow motorists are at the required level?


I’m not so sure either. Are they messages for the believers or the non-believers? IE they reinforce the values of those who drive responsibly while they are ignored by those who need the most improvement?

Safe driving Includes being alert and aware.
Prescribed learner driving is intended to teach the skills necessary.
Basic driving tests assess in a one off (once in a lifetime) circumstance apptitiude, temperament, skills and knowledge.

Moral awareness and the setting of an individuals personal moral compass are not formally assessed.

The system is far from perfect. Evidence exists through the many examples of inappropriate driver behaviour, and too many road accidents. Most it not all accidents have a driver related cause.

Not one mention of speed cameras necessary.


Looks like there are two sets of rules.



Fines Victoria threatens parents of dead son with legal action over his unpaid fine.

What a bunch of revenue raising grubs.



I have no issue with this as any liabilities on death are usually resolved through probate. If fines (debts to fhe state) were wiped because of the death of the driver, then this could set a precedent for other liabailities such as loans or bill arrears to also be wiped.

Such would also allow those with a chronic illness to live the life knowing that on their death they/their estate are no longer liable for any incurred debts.


The deceased son’s liabilities are for the estate to pay, not the parents. They are not one and the same even if the father is the executor. The article stated

‘Mr McGregor said when his wife Sharon had rung Fines Victoria to explain the situation, she was told she would face legal action if they didn’t pay the fine.

As with many articles, this one did not address many salient details. If the parents were the executors they would be liable to pay from estate funds, but if the estate had no funds the fine is not their liability. If there were funds and all were distributed one argument is that at 2 years the fine was late; alternatively if all funds were dispersed it might be the executor’s responsibility to reclaim sufficient funds for the fine. If the funds could not be reclaimed would the executor be liable under the circumstances?

It happens if they structure their lives so there are no assets at time of death, and thus no estate.

It is established that third parties, including parents of adult children, are not personally responsible for 'other people’s debts.

“They said it was an administrative error and shouldn’t have happened, and I agree, it shouldn’t happen,” he said.

“Fines Victoria does not require payment of fines by Victorians who have passed away and we are investigating why these notices were issued to prevent it from happening again,” the spokesperson said.

“If a family has paid the fine of a deceased loved one in error, their payment will be fully refunded.”

The rest of the article references the zeal and trivial innocent actions we all might do that attract fairly hefty fines. Considering the impacts of transgression, it indeed could reasonably be seen as purely cynical revenue raising.

It is not about ‘dead people’ flaunting laws and then not paying fines.


An article regarding a 19% increase in the national road toll in the last quarter.

Now what happened to all those speed cameras that the authorities claim save lives?

Oops, wrong slogan. “Speed cameras raise revenue”.


This assumes either that speed camera prevent speeding therefore speed was not the cause of the crashes…and speed is the only reason why cars crash. This is not the case…:


Unfortunately this simple news headline grab DOES NOT relate speeding either way to the increase or a decrease in fatalities for that period!

It would be fake news if it did?

If the results suggest the drivers involved were more prone to speed or it was an increasing factor, perhaps we need more hidden speed cameras and unmarked police vehicles to target these behaviours for re-education?

Is this really a consumer issue or one of “law and order”?

The NT has a more liberal approach to enforcing traffic laws. Partly due to the scattered low population and variable road conditions which also reduces the level of enforcement. It also has a road accident fatality rate 400% higher than the rest of our nation!

For Qld fines from speed cameras go to fund the cameras, with any surplus to road safety projects. Perhaps not so bad an outcome for the average road user. For this year Qld revenue from the cameras is estimated at $200M (approx).

That’s less than an average of $70 per Queensland driver in speed camera fines per year. 3 million issued licenses approx.

Many road uses have a nil cost on this item year on year. While others must be above average? :wink:


Having been out and about in the past month more than usual I have seen first hand evidence speed cameras do little to affect blatantly bad driving and speeding and road rages. This one person sample of ‘me’ is based on the numbers of speeding (~10kph+) and bad drivers who push boundaries, weave in and out of traffic, and bully by tailgating, for starters.

Unmarked and marked police cars get my vote because they witness bad driving and there is ‘instant gratification’ affecting the scofflaw. Humans also have some discretion re a driver safely going along in traffic and having a momentary lapse of a few km over at the wrong time in front of the binary camera unless they have quotas for speeding fines and it is a quiet day, although they always claim there are no quotas (but not by whatever name).

The mentality? Recently in a construction zone across a dual carriageway from in front of a school in the school zone, where children could not and would not walk under normal circumstances, there was a police car with his emergency lights flashing whilst parked along the roadway and his radar system apparently operative.

School zone - 40 kph; passing the emergency vehicle ‘zone’ - 40 kph. Traffic was going by him o/a 30 kph. Good use of resources and it must have made all of us feel so much safer. 30 kph is far safer than 40 so some might see that benefit, however the marked, lit-up police car served the purpose whereby a hidden camera would not.

I accept I seem to be in the minority here re speed revenue cameras, but I am all for police patrols both marked and unmarked that immediately stop the bad drivers, that is if getting bad drivers off the road is what matters, not technical infringements and related revenue. A ticket 2 or 3 weeks after the fact is not the deterrent a good dressing down and lecture and ticket in hand is.


Absolutely. Conditioning doesnt work weeks after the event. If you get pinged right away and served a lecture and a ticket… its going to be more effective. But, there needs to be enough police to actually do the job.

A bit off topic, but "261 new recruits will graduate from Goulburn today and only 4 are heading to the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens Hunter Police Districts.

Despite promising an additional 1500 Police late last year, it seems that NSW doesnt exist outside of Sydney with 83% of recruits heading to Sydney Police Districts.

In the last 3 years 18 out of 1801 recruits have been allocated to the Hunter." posted by our local member of parliament on 3rd May, on facebook. I wonder how many other non-metro Police districts are in the same boat.


Got to love it. Some pro, some con, but do such actions reduce the road toll or induce better driving habits? Probably debatable with advocates on both sides. The policeman was apparently operating outside of rules and he was merely told to stop doing it. What a deterrent to doing the wrong thing!