Drivers caught speeding on Forrest Highway during a trial of point-to-point speed cameras will not receive infringements because the offence does not exist yet, an estimates hearing has been told.
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said yesterday drivers caught speeding during the trial, which will start in October, would technically be committing an average speed exceeding the limit, an offence which is not yet in the Road Traffic Act.
Without changes to legislation, police could only use the information collected by the point-to-point cameras for more serious driving charges.
“Potentially we could charge someone with a hoon offence or a reckless driving offence with that information. We’d have to present that information to the court, but we can’t charge someone with speeding until we get changes in the legislation,” he said.
“But it certainly could be used in conjunction with other evidence to prove a case of reckless driving, dangerous driving or careless driving but not speeding.”
Attorney-General Michael Mischin said the trial was to establish whether the measure would be worthwhile.
However, Mr O’Callaghan said there had been evidence of success in other jurisdictions.
“The benefit in using point-to-point over single site speed cameras is that the measurement of that vehicle is over quite a long distance, it could be 20km, 30km or 40km, whereby fixed speed cameras require you to pass that point at a speed and be recorded for doing that,” he said.
“So where that’s been introduced in the Eastern States there’s been quite a significant reduction in road trauma and people speeding.”
Shadow police minister Michelle Roberts said a trial was not necessary because there was more than a decade of Australian evidence that the cameras worked.
“This is an absolute disgrace,” she said.
“The technology is now proven technology.
“NSW and most of the other States have come on board in the last five years. The only other State without point-to-point is Tasmania and also the Northern Territory.”
A Government spokesman said amendments to the Act would be introduced in Parliament this month.