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State launches $2.5m speed camera advertising campaign

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 21 November, 2012 - 10:16 AM
<b>VIDEO:</b> The Baillieu government's $2.5 million advertising campaign to defend speed cameras.

The State government is about to spend a pile of your money, trying to convince you that one of the things you avoid more than anything, one of the things you really hate about Victoria, is actually good for you.

This will be like trying to sell a Carlton jumper to a Collingwood supporter.

The state government wants to convince you that the best thing since sliced bread, the best thing since the sun came up this morning is: a speed camera.

VIDEO: 'See the bigger picture' 

This ad will be on radio, TV and billboards and there is a flash new web site up and running.

The campaign will tell you to see the bigger picture: speed cameras save lives. It will tell you speed cameras have cut crashes at intersections by 46 per cent, that speed is a factor in 30 per cent of road deaths and that cameras have cut the toll by a third – which is a big claim that I would actually dispute.

It will tell you fines only account for eight per cent of the cost of road trauma. It will tell you being just five kilometres an hour over the limit doubles the chance of a serious crash – although it may not define serious.

Anyway, the point is don’t get grumpy with speed cameras. See the bigger picture and in an era when dollars are tight, a lot of money will be spent showing you that picture, or at least selling it to you.

I’m a supporter of cameras, provided they work properly and are accurate. We, more than any other in the media, have discovered the problems. We revealed the Western Ring fault with $26 million being repaid. We broke the news that point-to-point cameras had been closed down. We led the campaign on red light cameras - $2 million refunded. We have fought successfully several individual cases.

That was right and just, but it probably undermined further trust in the cameras and therefore, this campaign.

Personally, I would rather see the money spent telling people to take more care rather than justifying a policy, but I can see their point.

The broader point, the even bigger picture for me is cameras must be reliable, accurate and fair. When something goes wrong, it has to be transparent and it has to be fixed. Fines have to be repaid.

In the past, particularly with the Ring Road disaster, the Bracks government and the Police dug in and said we were all wrong.

Well, we were not. That head-in-the-sand approach I hope has gone forever, because in the end, all the salesmanship doesn’t matter.

These things presume your guilt, and that means they will continually be under attack and under question. And so they should be.

No, the government is saying: ‘We’re from the government, trust the cameras.’ Well, my answer to that is: “You’re from the government, make sure they work.”

LISTEN: Deputy Premier Peter Ryan speaks with Neil Mitchell:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • The government and the police don't see the bigger picture. In the UK, 3 times the population, 3 times the nos of vehicles and a congested road system, the road death rate per 100,000 of the population is lower than Australia. People drive faster but speed and speed cameras are treated more realistically and effectively reduce casualties. It isn't true that speed kills, it is true that inappropriate speed kills but Australia has just sucked up the mantra apparently without question.

    Peter Tuesday 12 March, 2013 - 9:09 PM
  • Speed cameras do nothing to reduce carnage. Their bona fide use has been HIJACKED to gouge 100's of millions of dollars from motorists.
    ONLY 100 unmarked police cars & haevy penalties for the real "road killers" will have major effect. Why not seek advice from 100,000 Melbourne motorists with no serious road offences. There is NO CHANCE of this because $$$$$'s are at risk!

    alec kurlender Monday 7 January, 2013 - 8:58 AM
  • How doe's a speed camera in a quiet street in a 50k zone with very few cars at 6.55am of a morning deter speeding and save lives ?

    Little more than 500 meters away was busy Nepean Highway in Mordialloc with so many cars they are backed up at roundabouts and lights.

    If this is not blatant revenue raising then I dont know what is.

    JD Tuesday 27 November, 2012 - 1:23 PM
  • @gez who asked "If the cameras were working even accurately why do they raise so much revenue".

    Because so many idiots still speed. You obviously have a problem with speed cameras so I bet you're one of the people speeding.

    Peter Hillster Monday 26 November, 2012 - 12:14 PM
  • The message should really say is that we are CASHING IN on engineering deficiencies rather than fixing them. Realize that some roads and intersections are safer than others... is it because the drivers are safer in one location? NO! It is the road design. But they don't want to FIX the roads, they are making too much money.

    Ryan Denke Friday 23 November, 2012 - 8:41 AM
  • What waste of money.??? Put it towards the SEEING EYE DOGS.

    IAN Thursday 22 November, 2012 - 9:21 AM

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