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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2623 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

The bottom line, if your concern really is revenue, is that the greatest saving in this regard would be not to have any fines at all, because not having any fines at all would mean that we had reduced by a very significant proportion the number of people in the ACT who speed and therefore the number of deaths and the number of accidents on our roads. Mr Speaker, that would be the greatest saving of all. If we could lessen the impact on our hospital system and have fewer people ending up with disabilities and fewer families and individuals having their lives ruined by a motor vehicle trauma, that would be a tremendous outcome.

ARRB Transport Research will do a comprehensive evaluation of the speed camera program. We believe that it will take about 18 months. In that regard, Mr Osborne's amendment about a two-year sunset clause is acceptable to the Government.

Red light cameras also have the great potential to reduce the frequency and severity of road crash trauma, and vehicle side impact accidents are among the most severe. In 1997 there were 64 crashes that caused injury at ACT traffic lights and that was about 121/2 per cent of the total number of injury crashes in that year. We will be introducing the red light cameras in the year 2000.

Mr Speaker, in finishing - we will have more discussion about this Bill, no doubt, when we get to the amendments - I want to emphasise that it has taken until today for the Labor Party to come out and say that they will support this legislation. It is not a revenue-raising exercise. Mr Speaker, the test of that lies in the hands of all of us because the bottom line is that you will actually volunteer to pay one of these fines. If you choose, as a motorist, to go over the speed limit it is appropriate that you pay a fine if you get caught. The Government would be happy to receive zero in revenue from this exercise. If we receive zero in revenue from this exercise, we will have the potential to save many lives, reduce the number of injuries and, in financial terms, actually make great savings in the hospital system.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail Stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole

MR OSBORNE (3.46): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to move together amendments 1 to 3 circulated in my name.

Leave granted.


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