Cairns News has reiterated their concern over the use of unmanned mobile speed cameras throughout Queensland. Member for Hill Shane Knuth and KAP State Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter have criticized the State Government regarding the validity of these cameras and the fines they have been issuing.
The issue came to a head recently when residents in Malanda contacted Knuth’s office to express their frustration about one particular device stationed on the Malanda/Atherton Road. According to the complaints, residents have been receiving multiple notices, some of them over three weeks after the alleged infringements occurred. Knuth claims to have received over 250 individual complaints in just one week, with more than 400 fines, and some individuals receiving multiple fines. One person reported receiving 10 fines totaling over $10,000.
Knuth questioned the validity of the fines and requested evidence from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) that the device was certified and tested for calibration at the time of installation, during its deployment, and after its removal. He wants cold, hard evidence to ensure the accuracy of the fines.
The new unmanned mobile speed cameras, which are capable of sending real-time, high-resolution photos of the vehicle, driver, passengers, and speed to police data banks, have raised concerns among members of the KAP. Knuth and Katter argue that the length of time the device was stationed in Malanda, along with the sheer volume of fines and the number of repeat fines, raise doubts about the validity of the infringement notices.
Knuth further requested specific information from the Minister about the number of speed-related crashes that occurred in the 60 km/h zone over the past five years, who deployed the camera, their qualifications for deployment, and evidence showing the camera’s placement was valid according to government policy and guidelines.
Katter echoed Knuth’s concerns and criticized the government for its rollout of these cameras in remote areas. He argued that these fines disproportionately affect hard-working individuals who often have to travel long distances for medical appointments or to take their children to school. He called on the government to prioritize fixing dangerous roads instead.
In response to the criticism, Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, who himself does not hold a driver’s license, stated that the fines would be upheld because the camera was functioning correctly. However, many drivers have claimed that the camera was calibrated incorrectly or not working properly. Some have shared heartbreaking stories of facing the loss of their licenses despite having previously impeccable driving records.
The TMR has reviewed the operation of all transportable road safety cameras and confirmed that all devices are functioning correctly. They claim to undertake various validations and checks before issuing infringements, including calibration of the speed camera, secondary validation of its accuracy, verification of offenses, and manual adjudication before issuing a notice.
Despite hopes that fines would be waived, the main road authority has now dashed those hopes and insists that all fines will be upheld.
In conclusion, Cairns News and the KAP are expressing their concerns over the validity of unmanned mobile speed cameras across the state. They argue that the large number of fines, timing of notices, and potential calibration issues raise doubts about the accuracy of the infringement notices. The government maintains that the cameras are functioning correctly and all fines will be upheld, leaving drivers frustrated and calling for more transparency and accountability in the system.