ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The experience of speed camera operations in Australia and New Zealand

Cairney, Peter, Imberger, Kelly

Speed Cameras


This paper attempts to integrate the experiences of different jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand with speed enforcement by moveable speed camera.  Different jurisdictions have run camera programs with different levels of intensity, and increased the intensity by differing amounts over time, creating a ?natural experiment? which it was hoped would give insights into the relationship between the extent of camera programs and vehicle speeds.  Police in the different jurisdictions provided operational statistics on camera hours, numbers of vehicles checked, numbers of vehicles exceeding prosecution threshold and number of Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs) issued for the period July 1998-July 2003.  Analysis is limited to a consideration of the descriptive statistics.  The key findings of the study were that the average number of camera speed checks per vehicle per year is between ten and sixteen, depending upon jurisdiction, that the level of offences appeared to stabilise when the camera programs are consistent and that major changes in programs were required to produce changes in speed behaviour.  It is proposed that habitual speed choice is determined by a ?comfort level?, a state of equilibrium which balances influences which tend to lower speed, particularly enforcement, against influences which will tend to maintain existing speeds, such as the inconvenience of changing established driving patterns.