Science & Technology

New Speed Cameras

Technology has finally caught up with speeding motorcyclists in WA, bringing to an end their ability to evade the fleet of mobile speed cameras.

Until now motorcycles have been able avoid detection because they are not required to have front licence plates, due to an inability for them to be safely fitted.

Compounding the problem, technology hasn’t been sophisticated enough to capture images of rear plates.

That has come to an end with WA Police revealing the first mobile speed cameras in the country that can take images from the front and rear — meaning speeding motorcyclists will be issued with infringements just like any other driver.

In recent years, only red-light speed cameras at selected intersections and some fixed speed cameras on the Mitchell and Kwinana freeways have had the capacity to capture images of rear licence plates.

Three of the new cameras are already operating on WA roads, with another 25 to be deployed by the end of June 2018.

Black and white photo of male driver caught speeding by WA mobile rear-facing speed camera

A level playing field for motorists

WA Police Commander Scott Higgins said the new cameras were “pretty close” to being fool proof and a number of infringements had already been issued.

“There are people who think they can get away with speeding,” he said.

“We’re saying to them, your chances of getting caught are much higher now.

“Up until now motorcyclists had been able to get away with speeding infringements.

“We know that motorcyclists are overrepresented in our fatal and serious crashes, so this new technology is hopefully going to reduce those numbers.”

Police said the new cameras could clock speeds and capture images across six lanes of traffic.

WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts, with a police officer display a boot speed camera, 29 December 2017

Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the cameras would create a level playing field between drivers and motorcyclists.

“This is something we’ve wanted to address for years,” she said.

“We’re the first state in Australia to take receipt of this particular technology and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

“It’s been an inequitable situation between vehicle drivers and motorcyclists but it’s also meant that some motorcyclists … have believed that they can just get away with speeding and there is no consequence.

“Sadly for many of them the consequence has been the loss of life or serious injury.

“This is about saving lives. If they’re going 45 kilometres per hour or more over the limit they run the risk of having their motorcycle seized and being taken effectively off the road.”

This year alone, 25 motorcyclists have died on WA roads, with another 19 seriously injured.