Friday, September 21, 2012

red-light camera fail Road Safety Camera Commissioner investigates

Road Safety Camera Commissioner investigates 

red-light camera fail

at Melbourne Airport

UPDATE: VICTORIA’S Road Safety Camera Commissioner has called for an explanation from VicRoads after it failed to adjust the timing of the state’s second highest earning red-light camera.
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Commissioner Gordon Lewis said he would propose to speak to VicRoads to get further details about the bungle after more than 8000 motorists were possibly issued incorrect red light fines.
VicRoads has admitted that it did not adjust the amber light time at the intersection of Terminal Drive and Centre Rd when it changed the speed limit from 40km/h to 50km/h after a request from Melbourne Airport in late November 2010.
The amber light was correctly changed from three seconds to three-and-a-half seconds in February this year, but VicRoads failed to notify the Department of Justice or the public.
At 1pm today, there was still buck-passing and confusion about the incident, with VicRoads blaming a "breakdown in communication”, the Government admitting it was an "embarrassing situation" that it had only heard about now, and Melbourne Airport saying the speed limit was changed from 60km/h to 50km/h, not 40km/h to 50km/h.
Melbourne Airport
Aerial view of Melbourne airport. Planes.
Mr Lewis said where motorists believed there had been some systemic failure of the road safety system they should then contact his office.
“If the dates are correct motorists have the right to an explanation from VicRoads,” Mr Lewis said.
VicRoads CEO Gary Liddle admitted staff had known about the amber light problem since February after an audit was conducted, but said he was not aware if any action had since been taken to help people who might have been incorrectly booked by the camera.
The red-light camera is the second-highest earner in the state, making more than $2 million in the past financial year after 6914 motorists were fined.
The "breakdown in communication" at VicRoads was exposed by motorist Gordon Bishop this morning, after he told 3AW radio station that he had managed to prove that the amber light did not stay on long enough.
Mr Bishop tested the duration of the amber light at the intersection after receiving a red light fine in the mail.
He discovered it stayed on the amber light less than three seconds.
He took the matter to court and won.
Did you lose your licence as a result of the red-light camera? Tell us below
Mr Liddle could not say how many people had been incorrectly fined due to the "systems failure within VicRoads", but said the organisation was "going to work through what we can do for all those people who have been booked in that period”.
"This is a very modest change to the actual amber time and I can’t tell you how many people have actually gone through a red light as opposed to just missed the amber but clearly some would still have gone through a red light," he told 3AW.
"There has been a breakdown in our systems between the people who inspected when the speed limit was changed and the group that change the signal timing that resulted in that 15-month delay."
He said VicRoads was working with the Department of Justice to decide on the best course of action to rectify any incorrect fines.
Roads Minister Terry Mulder said he was not aware of the faulty red-light camera until now.
"We are naturally concerned about the information that's come to hand. The first I knew of this was this morning. There's obviously been a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line and VicRoads has acknowledged that," he said.
"We will have discussions with the Department of Justice to see what actions we need to take as a government. It's disappointing because as a minister if I'd been made aware of that matter I would have dealt with it and dealt with it very quickly. "
Mr Mulder said it was "very early days" when he was asked if fines would be reviewed.
He said concerned motorists should contact the Traffic Camera Office.
Failure to obey traffic lights, including red-light or arrow, incurs a penalty of $305 and three demerit points.19

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