ACT News


Two new mobile speed cameras hit Canberra roads

Peer into the back of a speed camera van in Canberra and you might mistake it for a mobile optometrist's office.

But instead of checking your eyes, the dual cameras are checking speeds on both sides of the road.

Up to 300 speeding hot spots will be targeted every week, now two extra mobile speed camera vans have hit Canberra roads.

Where you might see a mobile speed camera

The government will spend $2.2 million over four years on the new mobile cameras.

While road safety minister Shane Rattenbury admitted the revenue from mobile speed van fines was "not insignificant", he said their focus was harm minimisation rather than revenue raising.


"I'd be happy if we got no fines out of this but the reality is there are some people out there who will speed. The easiest way to avoid this ACT government tax is to not speed on our roads," Mr Rattenbury said.

Mobile speed camera operators can camp out at more than 1100 locations across Canberra, with locals able to nominate a hot spot for the vans to target.

While the locations are split about equally between the northside and southside, about one in four of the nominated spots is in the Belconnen region, around one in five is in Tuggeranong.

"The first time the speed van came here [Overall Street in Casey] to monitor speed they picked up 66 speeding motorists," Mr Rattenbury said.

"They've come 18 times in the intervening months and the last time they came, just four speeding fines in this area so we are seeing motorists respond to the increased presence in the vans, which is improving safety in our street."

Mobile shift supervisor Tony Taseski said eight camera vans were out each day and five were out at night.

The cameras can monitor up to six lanes of traffic and watch both sides of the road. They can detect a speeding driver up to about 100 metres away (so last-minute braking might not save you).

The operator sets up the camera and the signs on top of the van and then sits in the back monitoring the traffic and filing paperwork for up to an hour and a half.

The windows are bomb and bullet proof and there is a duress button inside the van.

Mr Rattenbury would not rule out further investment in more vans, or a shift towards mobile over traditional fixed speed cameras.

"The experts tell us we do need a range of measures when it comes to tackling speeding, education campaigns, police enforcement, mobile speed cameras and fixed cameras, they can all play a role," he said.

"We've been able to extract more use out of the six vans by putting on a double-shift and by using two more, we'll monitor this over the next little while and see how it goes before making any further decisions."

Map by Markus Mannheim