Residents of Far North’s dairy farming district of Malanda are deeply upset over Labor Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey’s use of high-tech roadside cameras to issue fines to motorists. This has resulted in thousands of dollars being deducted from residents
According to local Member of Parliament Shane Knuth, his office has received 360 complaints, resulting in 600 fines totaling $300,000 in just a few weeks in October. This high number of fines has sparked an outrage among the residents of Malanda.
Mr. Knuth criticized the validity of placing a camera on a road that has few accidents. He also raised concern over the lack of notice issued to motorists. This unfair practice has affected even professionals and pensioners who have been fined unjustly.
The introduction of these high-tech speed cameras has raised some serious concerns among the residents. They view it as purely designed for revenue generation and not for enhancing road safety. Mr. Knuth questioned the reliability of the process used to place these cameras and test their functionality.
Katters Australian Party’s Member for Hill has also raised questions in the parliament regarding the radar device test results before the installation of the cameras. However, the response to this query is still pending.
It is estimated by Queensland Labor that traffic fines will generate $500 million this year, nearly doubling last year’s revenue. However, the high number and nature of these fines have caused residents to question their legality.
Motorists who have been fined with potentially unlawful traffic fines might find a remedy in the National Measurement Act 1960. This act requires that radar or laser instruments used for calculating speed should be calibrated and certified by the Chief Metrologist for accuracy. It also requires the radar operator to have a current certificate of calibration. Since these conditions are not being met, there may be grounds to challenge the legality of the traffic fines.
In addition, the act requires that the measuring instrument be used for trade, and it is unclear whether the Main Roads Department, which would operate the cameras, is properly qualified for trading with the public to generate income. This, along with the lack of public consent to trading with MRD, could serve as a disqualifier for a traffic fine.
The recent amendments made to the act now specify that the measuring instrument must be used for trade. Since the Main Roads Department is a corporation that trades with the public, this requirement could be relevant in challenging the traffic fines.
Therefore, motorists who have been penalized through these high-tech cameras are advised to refer to the National Measurement Act and its relevant sections for a potential legal challenge against the fines.