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8/28/2005
Australia: Photo Enforcement Accuracy Questions Continue
Red light camera problems continue in Tasmania, Australia as new evidence shows police ignored speed camera problems in Victoria.

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The accuracy of photo enforcement has become a heated topic in both Tasmania and Victoria, Australia. Tasmania's opposition party is so certain that a trio of red light cameras in the state are faulty that they've set up a hotline number for the recipients of bogus tickets to call. The buggy cameras, one in Launceston and two in Hobart, have issued 9000 tickets since they were installed in 2001 but haven't issued a single ticket in the past year because of problems.

The opposition party maintains that because some 3000 ticket recipients who did not paid their fine were never contacted or prosecuted it's obvious that the government knows the tickets are questionable. The government, on the other hand, maintains the 3000 unpaid tickets were challenged in court and they can't tell what happened from there. The hotline number is: 1300 361 763.

In Victoria, speed camera operator Tenix has admitted there have been "between six and eight" incidents of error in camera operations between 1999 and 2005. In the most recent case on the Hume Highway, the Herald Sun reports new information that Tenix and the Victoria Police were standing by the bogus tickets even after drivers contacted them explaining that they were being ticketed for driving below the speed limit on the road in question.

Victoria Police even sent Kevin Driver a letter stating he had committed an offense and he would have to challenge it in court if he disagreed. The letter arrived on the same day the police had been forced to admit the error and promise to refund money paid by 119 wrongly ticketed motorists.

Article Excerpt:
"If there is any doubt whatsoever with cameras -- and it appears to be the case that these cameras have not been performing as they should -- then quite obviously those people penalised should have their fines overturned," [Liberal police spokesman Peter] Gutwein said.
Source: Faulty fines hotline set up (The Mercury (Australia), 8/27/2005)

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