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Over 15 per cent of fixed speed cameras are turned off and there’s ‘no doubt’ it has cost lives

One-in-five fixed speed cameras have been turned off at any one time over the last two and a half years, a new report has revealed.

An estimated 700,000 motorists in Victoria have dodged fines as a result of the inactive cameras.

Staggeringly, at least 10 cameras were off for the whole two and a half year period reviewed.

Road Safety Camera Commissioner Stephen Leane, who has just taken on the role, says there’s “no doubt” inactive cameras have cost lives.

Neil Mitchell: “If speed cameras save lives and 700,000 people haven’t been booked, this has probably cost lives, hasn’t it?”

Stephen Leane: “I’d say yes. Cameras save lives. The less they’re operating, the more chance we have that people are going to do the wrong thing, so we need all of the cameras operating as much as we can.”

Neil Mitchell: “And the fact they weren’t will have cost lives?”

Stephen Leane: “There’s no doubt about it. It will have impacted on trauma rates.”

Mr Leane says there have been improvements in the past six months, with 15 per cent of fixed cameras non-operational at any given time, but the cameras are still operating below capacity.

“These are valuable assets … they save lives,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“In a business, if 15 per cent of your assets are not generating the work they need to do for you, then you’ve got to fix that.

“There’s got to be an alternate road safety mechanism rather than just turning the cameras off and hoping for the best.”

There are more than 60 different reasons why cameras may be turned off, but Mr Leane said the most common reason a camera is switched off is due to roadworks.

Press PLAY below for the full interview.