The State Budget has revealed Victorian coffers will be filled by speeding drivers, as the Government casts a wider net.
Revenue collected from speeding fines is set to increase by nearly 60 per cent, according to figures listed in the Victorian Government’s 2020-2021 Budget this week.
The increased revenue is the result of an initiative by the State Government to increase the speed camera program by 75 per cent.
The discrepancy between the expansion and the forecasted revenue aligns with figures showing speed and red light camera fines have been falling in recent years.
As drivers increasingly appear to be abiding by posted speed limits, a much larger net is being cast to catch more drivers breaking the law.
Victoria received $330 million from speeding fines over the 2019-2020 financial year, but the State Government expects that figure to increase to $475 million – equalling a 44 per cent rise in a single year.
The Budget forecasts speed camera revenues will increase again the following year, to $524 million, before growth begins to flatten. The projection equals an almost 60 per cent jump in fines within two years.
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More than 1.2 million speed and red-light camera fines were issued in Victoria across the 2018-2019 financial year – a decrease of seven per cent year-on-year.
Quarterly figures show fines issuance will continue to shrink in 2020.
A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Justice and Community Safety told CarAdvice: “Victoria’s road safety camera program plays a critical role in changing driver behaviour, preventing road trauma and reducing the number of lives lost on our roads”.
Unlike other Australian states, mobile speed cameras are hidden in Victoria, mounted within common passenger vehicles which are parked alongside the roadway.
In August 2020, The Age revealed around 200,000 fines issued from new ‘T-Series’ mobile speed cameras (pictured above) were under review, due to faults with the technology.
However, in late September, the Victorian Road Safety Camera Commissioner concluded the ‘T-Series’ speed cameras were accurate and compliant, withdrawing a single fine issued to a vehicle which was proven to be travelling at nearly half the alleged speed.
The cameras are part of a $120 million investment by the Victorian Government to expand the program, with a further $15.1 million announced in the new budget.
The expansion is designed to increase the number of hours speed cameras spend monitoring the roads, by 75 per cent.
“The additional road safety camera hours will help ensure dangerous driving behaviour is reduced and that road users are safe,” the Department of Justice spokesperson said of the plan.
“More Victorians than ever now understand and value the role that road safety cameras have in saving lives.”
If projected forecasts prove accurate, the state will receive the entirety of its investment back in a single year, plus change.
The Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance and the Victorian Road Safety Camera Commissioner were contacted and this story will be updated with their responses.
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Victoria’s speeding fine revenue to increase by 60 per cent, despite safer drivers