1/15/2009Australia: Speed Camera Accuracy Under Fire
Partial disclosure of information shows major electrical faults with speed cameras in Queensland, Australia.
Speed cameras in Queensland, Australia have not been well maintained, according to documents obtained by the Courier-Mail newspaper. The investigation found numerous cases of electrical faults that call into question the underlying accuracy of the readings produced by the devices.
"Main Roads has advised that electrical work does not comply with Australian electrical standards and Queensland Police Service staff are not permitted to open the crown pole without an electrician present," a police report stated.
Officials only allowed the release of 22 out of 77 relevant documents, concealing information regarding problems with data logging devices by claiming that they contained "trade secrets." The Police Minister even went so far as to conceal the identity of the contractors paid $1.3 million to provide the electrical work, insisting that to do so might endanger the company.
North of Brisbane on the Bruce Highway, for example, a document showed that a camera short-circuited during a heavy rain storm in January 2007. Cameras with similar problems continued to issue citations at the rate of 4000 per month, on average. Police Minister Judy Spence insisted that no citation issued by a speed camera in Queensland has been found inaccurate because each speed camera can verify accuracy internally.
"There were some electrical faults initially but when those faults occurred the speed cameras turned off, so people weren't caught in any fashion because of some fault in the camera," Spence told the Courier-Mail.