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Speed cameras in limbo

Peter Mickelburough, state politics reporter
02 Jul 04

ALMOST half the state's 65 mobile speed cameras have not been tested annually as required by law, sparking fears tens of thousands of fines may have been illegally issued.

Police records show one mobile camera was not checked for almost two years.

Ten others were not tested for between 13 and 19 months and 15 were tested between a week and four weeks after their annual check was due.

A total of 1562 camera days are in limbo, with 28 mobile speed cameras not calibrated within the statutory 12-month period at some stage between July 1, 2001, and December 15 last year.

Tenix, the private operator of all mobile speed cameras, yesterday reassured motorists, saying no fines had been issued by cameras operating outside the legislated testing period.

But Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said he did not trust these assurances after the debacle that forced the Government to waive or refund $24 million in fines from faulty fixed speed cameras.

"There does not seem to be any system. Some cameras are calibrated on multiple occasions during a 12-month period, others aren't tested for nearly two years," he said.

Mr. Mulder claimed Police Minister Andre Haermeyer had once again failed to protect the interests of the state and Victorian motorists.

He called on the Govern ment to immediately write to anyone fined illegally and refund their fines and any demerit points lost.

A spokesman for Mr. Haermeyer said testing could be delayed while waiting for parts, pending a court case or because it was surplus to requirements.

"Tenix advises that no mobile speed camera is used without appropriate certification," he said.

Tenix camera operators must enter the date of a camera's most recent test in a log book each time a camera is set up.

"The Tenix operator must also call into the central office and relay the certification number, which is on a metal strip on the camera and on the hard copy certificate," he said.

Test dates are also registered centrally and two weeks before a camera's next required test a recall notice is sent out and the camera is taken to RMIT for testing.

© Herald and Weekly Times