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Frequently asked questions

I was only a few kilometres over the limit – that’s not really speeding. Why should I be punished?

Driving a few kilometres over the speed limit is more serious than you might think. Research shows that even a small reduction in speed can make a big difference in a road traffic crash.

In a 60 km/h zone, the risk of a crash doubles at just 5km/h over the speed limit. Traveling a few kilometres over the limit can mean the difference between life and death. For example, a person hit by a car travelling at 30 km/h will be severely injured and have a 10 per cent likelihood of death. Increase this speed to 55km/h and the likelihood of death is about 85 per cent. At 60km/h, the person is unlikely to survive.

Survival rates are higher for car occupants than pedestrians. Even so, a side impact above 40 or 50 km/h and a front impact above 70 km/h are likely to cause death, although having airbags fitted greatly increases your chance of survival.

Encouraging drivers to reduce their driving speed by just a few kilometres per hour will substantially reduce both the number and severity of road casualties.

Does looking out for cameras and at your speedo all the time actually cause more casualties than the cameras prevent?

If you're travelling at or under the lawful speed, there's no need to be looking out for a camera.

Driving is a multi-task activity that requires concentration at all times. Drivers have to pay attention to a number of operational and environmental factors. If you do not look at your speedometer there is no way to tell what speed you are travelling. Checking your speed should be as natural as checking your mirrors.

Can mobile speed cameras be set up on a hill?

There are no technical or legal restrictions on placing a mobile road safety camera on a slope, gradient or hill.

Victoria Police selects mobile road safety camera locations to target high-risk driver behaviour and areas with a history of crashes. When assessing a potential camera location on a slope, gradient or hill, police will consider whether there are any level sites in the area that will achieve the same road safety objective. If another location can’t be found, a mobile road safety camera can be set up on a slope, gradient or hill.

Victoria Police has a policy and procedures on the operation of mobile road safety cameras. For more information, please refer to the Mobile Digital Road Safety Camera Policy & Operations Manual (PDF, 55KB).

It’s important for drivers to remember that they are responsible for obeying the speed limit on the road, regardless of the environment.

I don’t think I was speeding but got flashed by a camera. Could it have been another vehicle?

The fixed digital safety cameras used in Victoria at intersections monitor multiple lanes for both speed and red-light offences. If a vehicle in one of the other lanes is travelling at excess speed or passes through a red light, it will cause an incident to be recorded by the camera. The system is able to differentiate between lanes and only the offending vehicle will be fined.

I was already in the intersection when the lights changed to red. Will I be prosecuted?

No. A vehicle that is already in the intersection when the lights change to red will not activate the camera, even if they proceed through the intersection. Only a vehicle entering an intersection after the light has turned red will activate the camera.

How do you select locations for road safety cameras at intersections?

Intersection camera sites are primarily determined by crash history, although other factors such as engineering issues and specific rural conditions are also considered.

The Traffic Camera Office of Victoria Police provides guidelines and procedures on the operation of mobile cameras, please refer to the Mobile Digital Road Safety Camera Policy & Operations Manual (PDF, 55KB).

Mobile cameras can either be installed in unmarked vehicles parked on the side of a road, or on a tripod outside the camera vehicle. Locations are determined by the road's crash history, reports of excessive speeding or expert opinion that a particular location has an inherently high crash-risk.

There are more and more speed cameras being installed. How does this improve road safety?

Speed cameras are vitally important to improving safety on our roads and are used in conjunction with other speed enforcement methods to save lives.

Speed enforcement, including the introduction of road safety cameras, has helped reduce the number of lives lost on Victoria’s roads. The camera program has been a major factor in reducing road trauma in Victoria.

This is supported by research undertaken by Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), which shows mobile cameras reduce speeding leading to a reduction in deaths and injuries on our roads.

Speed and red-light intersection cameras are also important in changing driver behaviour. MUARC research on Victorian intersection cameras showed an average 47 per cent reduction in casualty crashes on the approach road where the camera was located, and an average of 26 per cent on all approach roads to the intersection.

Improved vehicle safety, better roads, and stronger enforcement of drink and drug driving laws have also played a part in saving lives.

Where does the revenue raised from cameras go?

All revenue (net of cancellations) collected from road safety cameras goes back into road safety infrastructure. Cameras reduce speed and consequently reduce crashes and the severity of consequences arising from crashes. The revenue received from cameras is a fraction of the overall cost of speed-related crashes. Fines issued from road safety cameras amounted to around $234.9 million* for the 2010–11 financial year. The monetary cost of road trauma in Victoria is estimated to be more than $2.9 billion per year, the equivalent of about $1,400 per household.

Cameras are not located where the most revenue will be generated, but where there is a clear road safety benefit based on crash history, or where the police think crashes will occur due to observed driving behaviour and other intelligence gathered.

* This figure is net of cancellations which occur, for example, when Victoria Police exercises its discretion to issue official warnings in place of infringements.

I got a fine for speeding, but I was using cruise control or my GPS speed display to stay within the limit at the time. How could I possibly be speeding?

Road safety cameras measure a vehicle’s speed to a high level of accuracy and are regularly tested to ensure they are working correctly. Both cruise control and GPS speed displays can be subject to errors. It remains the driver’s responsibility to stay within the speed limit.

Why is there a difference between my speedo and what the camera records?

In Victoria speeding is a strict liability offence, which means that having a faulty or inaccurate speedometer is not a defence to a speeding charge. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that they adhere to the posted speed limit. If you believe that your speedometer does not allow you to do this, then you should have it checked, or alternatively, simply drive at an indicated speed lower than that applicable to the road.

The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) were amended in November 2004 to require, from 1 July 2006, that all new model vehicles have speedometers that display speeds no greater than the real speed.

Does the movement of the Wellington Road Bridge affect the operation of the road safety cameras attached to it?

The majority of road safety cameras installed on EastLink and similarly, in Australia and internationally, are mounted on bridges and gantries that experience some degree of movement from wind or other sources. Road safety camera devices have been designed with this in mind.

The Wellington Road Bridge is an extremely solid and robust structure, ideally suited to the implementation of a road safety camera.

Why do some graphs show the graph line going up, but the trend line still going down?

The trend line represented is a line of best fit from the start of the data to the end. It is based on an average trend of the data. Therefore, even if the graph line has been increasing recently the average trend overall of the data can still be downward. The increase in the graph line would have to continue over a period of time to start influencing the trend back upwards.

How can I report a road safety camera that appears to be damaged or not working correctly?

You can let us know by using the feedback form on the Contact Us page of this website.

To help us investigate and respond to your feedback, please ensure that you include the following information:

  • a brief description of the road safety camera you are reporting
  • the location of the camera and direction of traffic flow (e.g. southbound)
  • the date and time of travel
  • your name
  • your telephone number and email address.

Please note: If you see a camera flash without a speeding vehicle nearby, it could be because the camera is being tested.

Before a road safety camera location goes live, strict testing is conducted to ensure that it complies with all requirements. Testing may consist of physical, software, administrative and image assessments.

During the testing process, cameras will flash even when a vehicle is detected speeding, running a red-light or a red arrow. However, no fines are issued when a camera is being tested.

I’ve received a fine, but the camera image of the offence shows two vehicles. How does Victoria Police know I was responsible and not the other driver?

Fixed road safety cameras can monitor multiple lanes for both speeding and red-light offences.

The system differentiates between lanes and only the offending vehicle will be fined.

Before a fine is issued, two independent officers review all data and must agree an offence has occurred. Find out more about the strict verification process.

If a mobile road safety camera captures two vehicles within a single image, qualified officers examine the photograph by overlapping the known size and position of the radar beam.

If both vehicles are within the beam, no fine will be issued.

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