6/17/2006Australia: 1130 Bogus Speed Camera Tickets Refunded
Speed camera contractor Tenix is on the hotseat as 1130 innocent motorists receive speed camera tickets.
The government of Victoria, Australia admitted that 1130 speed camera tickets worth at least A$180,000 were issued to innocent motorists and announced it would fine camera vendor Tenix a "six-figure" amount for the mistake. Refunds have already been offered to the falsely accused who had paid their citations in cases that occurred between 2004 and 2005. The government noted thirteen separate instances where the cameras were set up improperly.
For example, on March 23, 2004 cameras issued 303 tickets to innocent motorists on the Hume Highway. On July 21, 2005 on the same road, cameras ticketed 119 motorists who were driving under the speed limit. On June 16, 2005 cameras issued 250 improper tickets on Bolton Road in Wyndham Vale.
Despite the errors, Tenix maintained the system works and will bid to keep the contract when the state government puts it up for renewal next year.
"There are rigorous internal audits to detect and correct any abnormalities and avoid unjustified financial penalties to motorists," a Tenix spokesman told the Perth Sunday Times. "We will continue working to ensure that the program operates with maximum accuracy."
Shadow Transport Minister Terry Mulder blames the police and Minister Tim Holding for the mistakes. "It is their responsibility to ensure no innocent person receives a ticket," Mulder said. "When you get this level of failure you have to say the current system isn't working."
The state makes A$130,000,000 a year in revenue from speed camera tickets.