The ACT government should show some heart and waive the thousands of speeding fines from a 40km/h zone in the city centre, the opposition says.
More than 1200 people signed a petition calling for the ACT government to drop fines issued in July for speeding offences in a new 40km/h zone in the city.
More than 1100 people a week continue to receive fines in the zone, which was introduced in March, despite Canberra being locked down and traffic volumes falling dramatically.
Opposition spokesman on transport Mark Parton presented the petition to the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, saying some people who had been fined in the "enforcement disaster" were undoubtedly doing it tough during the lockdown.
"I dread to think how many Canberrans are locked up in their homes, without regular income and are still trying to figure out how on earth they're going to pay for multiple fines incurred at a time when they did not believe that they were driving outside of the law," Mr Parton said.
Petitions to the Legislative Assembly which attract more than 500 signatures are referred to a standing committee for consideration.
The cameras, which capture traffic on parts of Northbourne Avenue, London Circuit and Barry Drive, generated more than $1.6 million in fines in July.
Drivers claimed the ACT government had not done enough to warn drivers of the changed limits and the signage on the roads was inadequate.
The new limits, part of a city-wide strategy to drop speeds in town centres, have seen the number of crashes in Civic drop 30 per cent in the three months after their introduction, authorities say.
The new limits, which dropped speeds by 20km/h, were introduced in March on parts of Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive, but were not enforced until July 5.
More than 1200 people were caught speeding by the cameras on the first day they issued fines, with about 23,000 tickets issued in the space of a month.
There were 1144 fines issued in the week starting August 16, and 1177 fines issued in the week starting August 23. More than 1500 fines were issued in the week leading up to the lockdown announcement on August 12.
A former head of traffic engineering in the ACT government's Urban Services directorate last month questioned the road safety rationale for dropping the speed limit from 60km/h to 40km/h on Northbourne Avenue, an arterial road.
Graeme Shoobridge said pedestrian traffic signals to cross Northbourne Avenue did an adequate job of protecting people on foot, and there was little reason to drop the speed of traffic on the road to 40km/h.
"If it's road safety they're interested in, the difference between 50, 60 and 40 from a pure transmission on an arterial road point-of-view is not very much," Mr Shoobridge said.
Transport Minister Chris Steel previously committed to boosting signage in the zone, in an apparent concession more could be done to warn motorists.
"Lower speed limits reflect the changing use of streets in the city over time, like Northbourne Avenue. The centre of the city is frequented by more public transport users, pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorists," Mr Steel said at the time.
"The city has also grown, and there are many more people living in the city centre now together with a mix of recreational and commercial activity."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: