Western Australia is set to join the majority of Australia’s states in the way that speed cameras (both mobile and fixed) are noted and advertised to drivers. That is to say, they no longer will be.
Starting next year, the warning signs pointing out the 1800-odd speed cameras in Australia’s most geographically-significant state will be removed and replaced with more general signs stating that cameras are active in the area.
This brings the state’s policy into line with every other Australian state and territory, save for New South Wales. But that could soon change, with NSW Police weighing up a change to this system and removing the equivalent signs in favour of signs that point out where these cameras might be.
The potential changes for Australia’s first state, if enacted, would be in response to a report released by the Auditor General for NSW Margaret Crawford: “a key aspect of providing an effective general network deterrence is creating a perception that speeding can be enforced anywhere at any time.”
NSW Roads And Transport Minister Andrew Constance says their findings suggest that up to 54 lives could be expected to be saved with the changes, however, the NRMA has a different take on both the reasons for the change as well as the outcomes to expect. In the NRMA’s estimation, the warning signs are a crucial part of alerting drivers to the dangers of driving in certain locations.
“There’s no point getting a fine in the mail two weeks later if the whole purpose is to slow people down in these locations,” said NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury in early November. “The argument that people slow down then speed up again doesn’t hold weight. The government this year will collect around $200M from these fixed and mobile cameras alone.”
As you might be aware, NSW Police are rolling out mobile phone detecting cameras throughout next year, and none of those are expected to be marked with warning signs. But even if there are no official sources for confirmed locations of speed cameras, that doesn’t mean you have no options.
Waze, the Google-owned map and navigation app, caught a bit of press recently when the WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts asked drivers very politely to stop using it. If you’re not familiar with it, it has crowd-sourcing functionality that allows users to mark on the map where obstacles like roadworks, traffic accidents, speed cameras are, and shows this information to other users.
Of course, to engage with a smart-phone while driving would get you pinged for another offence, but it can be a very useful tool when you’re trying to remain aware of additional factors on the road. It’s available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for virtually much all smartphones.