Monday, May 7, 2012

Red light camera on corner of Williamsons Road and Doncaster Road, money spinner for the government and a warning to locals

The following article shows just how much money the government is raising from the red light cameras in the area, and in particular the red light cameras at Shoppingtown.

A NEW red light and speed camera outside Westfield Shoppingtown in Doncaster has generated $1.27 million in fines in three months - more than $14,000 a day.... Read More

I’d like to share a warning for drivers who are turning right from Williamsons Road in front of Shoppingtown, into Doncaster Road. When turning right most people will move with the flow of traffic, but what happens if the car in front of you stops in the middle of the intersection for no reason. You are then trapped behind the car. You’ve entered the intersection whilst the light was green. Whilst we are always watching for poor driving behaviour of others and take appropriate care, if is very difficult to plan for the incompetence and stupidity of other drivers. Once the car decides to move what do you do. Move ahead and clear the intersection, or sit slightly in the intersection.

What most people don’t realise are the sensors aren’t before the line cars stop at, but they are after the line. Hence if you’ve moved off and you need to stop because of the driver in front stops, your rear wheels may be on or before the sensors. If you move your car the traffic camera will go off and snap two pictures of you. If you don’t move your car you may slightly annoy others and be placed in a dangerous situation, but will the cameras go off? A very difficult choice.

A person I know who lives out of the area was faced with exactly this choice. Their rear wheels on or before the sensor and blocked whilst the turning light remained green, waiting for the driver who obviously didn’t know what they were doing. Another driver to the left of the stopped car also stopped in the intersection because of the and unpredictable behaviour of the driver. No one knew what the car was going to do. Was it trying to move across multiple lanes whilst in the intersection so it could go down Elgar Road? No one knew. The car did move off after the lights changed and went into the bus lane heading west along Doncaster Road.

The person I knew was not speeding at all. Entered into the intersection as we all would whilst the turn arrow was green.

The result was three demerits points and the easiest $305 dollars the government has ever made.

In hindsight, had the person I know simply sat in the intersection and not moved they may not have set off the sensors and not incurred a fine. I consider that would have been potentially more dangerous and not appropriate.

I wonder how many people now focus on the traffic lights rather than watching the surrounding traffic. If you don’t watch the lights very closely now, with the government so eager to raise money through fines, you can easily be out of pocket $305 and be on your way to losing your licence through what most people would not consider their fault.

The government is always talking about the research they perform, but I wonder what the research is, on how much fines should be. At what point does a fine become a disincentive to people to stop speeding? Above that it is just revenue raising. A local business person once said to me they have no problem with fines. Whilst they’re fining others they’re not putting their taxes up. Whilst true, I don’t consider excessive fines for revenue generation to be fair on the general public.

A question I have is: how many people are getting fined whilst turning right from Williamsons Road into Doncaster Road in similar situations?

In the article the first three lanes caught 2,958 drivers and the other three lanes only caught 1,322. Are the first three lanes including the two right turn lanes? These are usually people who are moving at low speed with the right turn arrow. Not the so called speedsters Acting Sgt Mark Wickman keeps an eye out for on the intersection of Williamsons and Doncaster roads as stated in the picture in the article.

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.
No problem too small.

PS. It should be noted a request for reconsideration was lodged but denied by the driver.

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