Well, seems old media is a-buzz with hype about old camera sites on the bouncing Westgate bridge.
Just like other cameras that wave in the wind, it seems the old story has raised itself again.
Push for broken West Gate Bridge speed cameras to stay as motorist deterrent
ANDREW JEFFERSON, TRANSPORT REPORTER, firstname.lastname@example.org @AndyJeffo
Herald Sun July 3, 2017 7:19am
VICTORIA’S top roads cop has rejected an RACV push to tear down defunct speed cameras on the West Gate Bridge — saying many motorists still think they’re working.
Two sets of rusting cameras on the west and eastbound lanes were turned off more than a decade ago because vibration and wind made them unreliable.
The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria wants the cameras removed because there are no plans to switch them back on.
But Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer told the Herald Sun he was happy for the faulty devices to remain because they deterred people from speeding.
“The benefit of speed cameras, no matter where they are including the West Gate, is it changes driving behaviour,” Mr Fryer said.
“If people on the West Gate think they are still working, that’s good for me.
The rusting speed cameras on West Gate Bridge should remain as a deterrent to drivers, Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer says.
“If every motorist in Victoria thought there was a speed camera on every street, that would change driving behaviour and we would see a reduction in deaths by dozens and dozens because speed is the leading factor in road death.”
Mr Fryer said he would support the bridge cameras being turned back on.
“When I’m travelling over it, I still see a lot of people slow down so I’m not sure everyone would be confident that they’re not working,” he said.
“So they are having the effect that we want. The very best speed camera is one that detects no one because driving behaviour has changed.”
RACV roads and traffic manager Dave Jones said it was an open secret among motorists that the West Gate Bridge cameras didn’t work, and they should be removed if there were no plans to fix them.
Top traffic top Doug Fryer says the presence of speed cameras changes driver behaviour. Picture: Mark Stewart
“With the heavy traffic environment on the bridge, it’s hard to exceed the speed limit so there are no issues with speeding,” Mr Jones said.
“If the cameras are rusting and not being maintained, they should be removed.”
Department of Justice and Regulation spokesman Michael Newhouse said the cameras were deactivated in 2006 due to inappropriate road conditions, including vibrations on the bridge.
“The cameras have not been used since this time, and there are currently no plans to reactivate them,” Mr Newhouse said.
“At this stage, there are no plans to remove the camera towers from the bridge.
“They continue to act as a valuable speeding deterrent for motorists travelling across the West Gate Bridge.”
About 200,000 vehicles a day travel across the West Gate Bridge.
Older story here (NOTE 2008)
Malfunctioning West Gate Bridge speed cameras turned off
Matthew Schulz, HeraldSun May 22, 2008 12:00am
SPEED cameras on the West Gate Bridge have been secretly switched off for two years because they are unreliable. Police have this morning confirmed that two banks of speed cameras launched in 2005 at one of Melbourne’s worst traffic blackspots were turned off just over 12 months later.
Assistant Commissioner Key Lay confirmed the secret move, telling 3AW Radio police were forced to act because the cameras were inaccurate. He said the cameras were turned off permanently in September 2006.
“We were seeing a lack of clarity and at times we weren’t able to identify the offending drivers,” Assistant Commissioner Lay said. He confirmed there were “quite a number” of motorists booked for speeding, but police also rejected “many, many more”.
“Because of the number of rejections … we simply turned it off,” he said.
But he said police and the State Government had kept the malfunction secret because authorities believed they worked as an effective deterrent.
“The thing with speed cameras is that we know that they slow people down and we know if people think they’re there they will slow down.
“The decision was made to keep people alive.
“If people think the cameras are there they will generally obey the speed limit and avoid collisions.”
The West Gate Bridge cameras were the only ones in the state that were permanently off, he said.
A redevelopment of the West Gate bridge could allow working speed cameras to be installed about 12 months from now, he said.
Leading Australian QC David Galbally told 3AW Radio that if there was any doubt about the accuracy of the cameras anyone fined in 2005-2006 should have their fines refunded.
“If there was some doubt they ought to have those (demerit) points removed,” he said.
Deactivated West Gate speed cameras gradually rust
Adam Carey December 13 2014
West Gate Freeway speed cameras quietly switched off almost 10 years ago because vibration and wind made them unreliable, remain out of action.
The state’s most influential motoring group is lobbying for the cameras on the westbound and eastbound lanes of the bridge, which were installed in 2005 and switched off the following year, to either be fixed or removed.
Two other fixed speed cameras on the freeway, on the outbound Millers Road off-ramp and at Grieve Parade, were also switched off indefinitely last year.
The West Gate Bridge carries more than 160,000 vehicles a day and is a major truck route to and from the Port of Melbourne. Its speed limit is generally 80 km/h but sometimes lower in poor conditions.
Brian Negus, general manager of public policy at RACV, said the cameras had been “out of action for some considerable time, were rusty and very clearly not operating”, and a permanent decision should be made about whether or not to keep them there.
“It’s up to the Department of Justice and the police to make a decision,” Mr Negus said. “If they believe they are required they should justify why, and if they are justified then instrument them if it’s possible to do so, or alternatively remove them.”
Police Commissioner Ken Lay said in an interview with 3AW in 2008 that the speed cameras on the bridge might be switched back on after major bridge strengthening works were completed. Those works – part of the $1.4 billion widening of the West Gate and Monash freeways and CityLink – were completed in 2011 but cameras have not been activated.
Mr Lay also said at the time, merely having the cameras in place acted as a deterrent to speeding because people did not know they were switched off. There is evidence the non-functioning cameras are an open secret to many, with some people bragging on online chat sites of deliberately speeding across the bridge.
Sayed Kabeer, a computer analyst who often drives over the bridge, said he believed there was a clear need for the cameras to be fixed and reactivated. He said he had been tailgated by trucks wanting to speed over the bridge on multiple occasions.
“They try to bully you from behind and it’s a very scary experience,” Mr Kabeer said.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said the cameras had been switched off for different reasons but there appears to be no plan to switch the West Gate Bridge cameras back on.
“The road safety cameras at Millers Road and Grieve Parade were deactivated in June 2013 due to long-term road works on Geelong Road and will be reactivated upon completion of these works,” the spokeswoman said.
“The road safety cameras on the West Gate Bridge were turned off in 2006 due to road conditions.”
also no cameras listed on the ‘Official’ site – http://www.camerassavelives.vic.gov.au/home/locations/
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