Road cameras continue to spread in Queensland, with the State Government now rolling out new speed cameras designed specifically for school and roadworks zones.
The cameras go live in September and are part of a pilot being run by the Queensland Police and the Department of Transport and Main Roads that will run until the end of April 2024.
The pilot program will see the new speed sign-integrated cameras rotated across “prioritised” school zones and roadwork sites that have been identified as high-risk areas.
In school zones, they’ll be attached to the flashing school zone signs that operate during school zone hours. They’ll be activated when a crossing supervisor – aka lollipop lady or man – enters the roadway.
They’ll also monitor and record any traffic incidents or near-misses.
In roadworks zones, they’ll be mounted on a “specially designed smart tracked platform”. They’ll be a lot harder to miss than the school zone cameras, looking like big yellow refrigerators on tracks.
The government says the roadworks cameras will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week – evidently, still running even when workers have knocked off for the day.
“I’m pleased to announce that new cameras will target speeding drivers in both school and roadworks zones to keep Queensland kids and workers safe,” said Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.
“I don’t want to see another roadworker killed or someone’s child badly injured on their way to school just because of the recklessness of a speeding driver.
“These cameras will pop up in high-risk locations next month so I am giving Queenslanders fair warning that these can be anywhere, anytime.”
The Queensland Government says “every cent” collected from fines is re-invested into road safety.
This includes funding to improve the safety of the sections of state-controlled roads where the most crashes occur, plus road safety education and road accident injury rehabilitation programs.
Between January 1, 2018 and April 30, 2022, the Department of Transport and Main Roads says a total of 70,132 school zone speeding infringements were issued in Queensland.
Just over half of these – 36,326 – were for drivers exceeding the speed limit by between 13 and 20km/h.
The Government also says that there were 74 fatalities last year that were the result of crashes involving speeding motorists, representing 27 per cent of all Queensland road fatalities (277).
The rollout of the new cameras follows the introduction of new cameras that detect both the usage of mobile phones behind the wheel and the lack of seatbelt usage.
Between November 1, 2021 and May 25, 2022, these new cameras recorded a total of 100,375 infringements, the vast majority of these for mobile phone use.
Like the new roadworks and school zone cameras, the Queensland Government doesn’t publish these camera locations. That’s in contrast with existing fixed and mobile speed cameras, of which the locations are published on the Government’s website.
Queensland also implemented stricter penalties for speeding from July 1, 2022, which included adjusted thresholds.
There’s a $287 fine for exceeding the speed limit by between 1-10km/h, and a $431 fine for exceeding it by 11-20km/h.
These replace a $183 fine for exceeding the speed limit by 1-12km/h, and a $275 fine for exceeding the speed limit by 13-20km/h.
Demerit points remain unchanged at one and three points, respectively.
The other brackets are unchanged, as are the corresponding demerit point amounts, but the penalties are up as follows:
- 21-30km/h: increased from $459 to $646 (four demerit points)
- 31-40km/h: increased from $643 to $1078 (six demerit points)
- Over 40km/h: increased from $1286 to $1653 (eight demerit points, six-month licence suspension)
By 2031, the Queensland Government wants to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent and serious injuries on the road by 30 per cent.