Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Covert speed cameras a con: Qld police

AAP June 2, 2010, 2:33 pm

Queensland's police union dismisses covert speed cameras as "poker machines on wheels", but Premier Anna Bligh insists they are an important tool to help cut the state's road toll.

Police Union president Ian Leavers says Queensland's average weekly road toll has actually increased since covert cameras were introduced in early April.

"I fear that the Bligh government is becoming addicted to the revenue of speed cameras," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"Sure they rake in the dollars, however, the deterrent effect for speedsters is non-existent."

Mr Leavers said the road toll was falling before covert cameras were put on the roads.

In the 14 weeks to April 4, there were 3.7 deaths a week, while in the eight weeks to May 30 when the cameras operated there were 5.1 deaths a week.

"There is not a shred of evidence that they have had any positive impact in reducing fatalities on our roads," Mr Leavers said.

Ms Bligh said police needed a range of tools to crack down on irresponsible road use, and covert cameras were an important part of the mix.

"We know from years of experience that it's a combination of penalties, enforcement and encouraging people to do the right thing. Every part of it is important, including speed cameras.

"... I think anybody who's out there driving knows that if you know there is a red light camera, you slow down and make sure you're travelling at the speed limit.

"That is protecting lives and we are going to keep making sure it's part of a whole suite of road safety measures."

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