Bob Holland

At the time of writing, a mobile speed camera has been situated on Woodward Street outside Elephant Park, every day for about 8-10 days straight. The reason I know this is because I live up that way and drive past it every time it’s there.

I need to confess up front, that this angers me greatly for several reasons, but I’m going to try and remain civil and not air what I’m really feeling. I will say however, that I consider the methodology of putting a speed camera in a place like that, in the manner they do, strikes me as stupid in the extreme. For this exercise, let me just share some general thoughts on speed cameras to see if I’m the only one who feels they could operate them in a far better and more meaningful manner.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I would have thought that the spirit and aim behind a speed camera like this was to make our roads safer, slow speeding drivers down in areas where they are prone to drive too fast and to fine drivers when they don’t.

If this was the overall aim, I doubt too many people could complain. I certainly wouldn’t. So, to achieve this, how should they go about it?

Again, correct me if I’m wrong when I say they should place unmarked and unsigned mobile speed cameras, randomly and occasionally along streets and roads where it is well known that drivers frequently drive above the speed limit, and where driving above the speed limit on such roads presents serious or potential danger. Yes, I’m advocating that these be genuine “speed traps” where drivers who are driving above the limit get caught or trapped, and fined for doing so. This would seem to make perfectly good and reasonable sense to me. If drivers run the risk of getting caught in any place at any time, good sense says they’ll soon get the message that driving within the speed limits in Orange is their safest bet if they don’t want to get fined. The overall effect of this would surely be more drivers driving to the speed limit which would result in our roads being safer, achieving the aim I suggested above.

The Woodward Street camera makes a mockery of this and I can’t see how it’s achieving anything worthwhile relating to road safety in Orange. My judgement is that it’s mainly just trapping drivers who for one reason or another, are driving say 10 ks over the 50 limit, yet still driving quite safely along that section of road.

What makes it even sillier, is that they place signs warning of the camera in front of and behind the vehicle. What does that achieve in relation to road safety in Orange? Seriously!  Most locals know about it, if they’re like me they slow down, provided they’re concentrating, and just hope it’s not there again next time they drive past. Any irresponsible driver who really does need to be slowed down is simply going to slow down when they see the signs and the vehicle and once out of range, speed up again. How does that help anything?

Logic like this doesn’t show a lot of sense to me, nor give me confidence in the people or authorities who make such decisions.

Any thoughts? bob@oclife.com.au