ACT News

Fixed-speed cameras fail to cut car crashes

Fixed speed cameras are not reducing the number of nearby car crashes, new data shows.

ACT government crash statistics, provided to the opposition, show accidents at the site of nine fixed speed camera sites have not been reduced since the cameras were activated in 2007 and 2008.

In many cases, the data shows drivers were actually involved in more crashes after the fixed cameras came in.

The number of crashes has increased at the sites of two fixed speed cameras on the Federal Highway, city-bound near the Antill Street roundabout, and north-bound between the Antill Street roundabout and Zelling Road.

Prangs were more common near the set of fixed cameras on the Barton Highway, between Gungahlin Drive and Ellenborough Street, but less frequent at the set on the highway between Curran Drive and Gold Creek Road.

Crash rates increased considerably near the sites of two fixed speed cameras on the Monaro Highway between Lanyon Drive and Sheppard Street, and between Mugga Lane and Isabella Drive.


But the rate fell after the installation of speed cameras on the Monaro Highway near the Hindmarsh Drive overpass.

Crashes have also decreased since the installation of the camera on the Tuggeranong Parkway, near the Hindmarsh Drive overpass.

Opposition transport services spokesman Alistair Coe has claimed the data is proof the government has used the technology to maximise revenue, rather than reduce the danger to motorists. Mr Coe said he supports the use of speed cameras, but said they must not be used simply as revenue raisers. ''I think it shows that there are still questions that need to be asked about their effectiveness,'' he said.

But the government maintains the speed cameras are an important part of its road safety program.

A spokesman for Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the speed cameras act as ''an important deterrent'' to dangerous driving.

The government is currently preparing a speed camera strategy to help guide any possible expansion of the existing camera network across the city. It will look at the effectiveness of fixed, mobile and point-to-point speed cameras, and how each is placed across the city.

That evaluation will look at the effectiveness of the site selection for each speed camera, and see how well they reduce speed and crashes.

The government activated the territory's first point-to-point speed cameras on Hindmarsh Drive in late February, with a second set to be installed on Athllon Drive later this year.

Mr Coe said there were serious questions about the effectiveness of the point-to-point cameras.

He said both fixed cameras and point-to-points had the potential to make roads more dangerous.

''I think we've all seen people drive erratically near fixed speed cameras,'' Mr Coe said.

''People slam on the brakes and they do weird things, I don't think it's any surprise to a lot of people that we are seeing a lot of accidents occurring at these locations,'' he said.


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