The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Double Blow to Promoters of Speed Cameras

Graham Marshall - Saturday, March 09, 2013

We've long-argued that hiding speed-cameras in the bushes or the back of parked Nissan SUVs is a sham and has no place in a modern road-safety campaigns.

No modern health and safety program or professional in the business-world would advocate such an approach to safety promotion.

And the use of such cameras has now recieved a double blow.

Firstly, a judge in the US state of Ohio has said that automated speed-traffic cameras are "a scam" that cheats drivers.

And the UK Department of Transport has also now been forced to review speeding fines and infringements for thousands of motorists because cameras were used to trap motorists on roads where the posted legal speed limits were not clear to drivers.

Over in Ohio, Hamilton County Common Pleas' Judge - Robert Ruehlman - on Thursday struck-down the "automated speed enforcement program" where two installed cameras reportedly resulted in 6,600 speeding citations in the first month after enforcement began in September. 

The judge noted that the 6,600 infringements issued were more than three times the actual population of the village where the cameras were installed.

In making his decision, the Judge said that the speed cameras were "nothing more than a sham!".

He went on to say that the camera were engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of Three Card Monty (what we Australians call "Find the lady").

He added, "It is a scam that motorists can't win."

He noted that individuals and businesses have suffered as a result of the traffic cameras. "Churches have lost members who are frightened to come to Elmwood and individuals who have received notices were harmed because they were unable to defend themselves against the charges brought against them," he said.

In America, 13 states have speed cameras in operation, while 12 states have passed laws prohibiting them, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

In the USA, critics of speed and red-light cameras argue that the devices violate motorists' rights.

The say law enforcement agencies are using automatic cameras mainly to raise revenue, not to boost traffic safety.

We tend to agree that this is the same situation here in Western Australia.

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