Page 2923 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015
To recap some of Mr Coe’s more irresponsible comments, he said things like the government took time to release a new road safety strategy so that they could justify putting more speed cameras in and leaving dysfunctional ones in and around the territory. He said speed cameras are not about road safety but in actual fact are simply about revenue raising. He said the government speed camera system is a mess and there are no substantial plans to do anything different. These statements are not only irresponsible but they actually defy the facts.
Let us work through some of those facts. Members should know that the government released, and is in the process of implementing, a comprehensive road safety camera strategy and mobile camera deployment strategy. These are in response to the Auditor-General’s report on safety cameras, an evaluation of the ACT road safety camera program by the University of New South Wales and considerable work by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate.
That strategy says, and I have emphasised very clearly, that these strategies are designed to reduce speed, to save lives and to stop injuries. They are in line with the vision zero road safety strategy which aims for the goal of zero fatalities on our roads. The strategy describes how the government will improve, measure and monitor their effectiveness to ensure safety cameras are used in the best possible way to improve road safety.
The strategy will use a new methodology for identifying locations that are high risk or have a high frequency and severity of crashes for possible future deployment of fixed-speed cameras. The new strategy will use new siting criteria for point-to-point cameras to ensure they are achieving the best contribution to road safety outcomes. The new strategy improves the use of mobile speed cameras in the ACT. This is an effective technology for reducing speeds and improving safety across the whole network.
We have increased funding for mobile speed cameras by over $1.2 million over the next four years. This will fund an additional four mobile camera operators and increase mobile camera operations on ACT roads by over 120 hours per week. We are changing the law and our deployment policies to support a genuine anytime, anywhere approach to speed enforcement.
Mobile speed cameras will be able to be used on any roads instead of a limited few. The locations will be chosen based on an assessment of the location’s history of crashes and speeding, the ability to complement and support police enforcement, and a third of the deployments will be on random roads to support the anywhere, anytime approach. These are changes that are important to saving people’s lives and that I will be continuing with despite the misrepresentations and irresponsible politicking on the issue of road safety by Mr Coe and others.
I underline the fact that this approach that I have announced and am in the process of implementing is absolutely driven by the evidence and by the research, in particular the emphasis on the use of mobile speed cameras where the data clearly shows—and I have tabled this information in the chamber so that any member can have a look at it—that mobile speed cameras are the most effective way of getting people to reduce their speed, particularly if we reinforce that with an anytime, anywhere approach.