Are speed, mobile phone cameras finally changing behaviour?

The Queensland Government is expecting a revenue shortfall of almost $100 million from its roadside speed, mobile phone, and seatbelt detection cameras this financial year, with the reduction being partly attributed to safer driving habits.

ABC News reports Queensland’s Camera Detected Offence Program (CDOP) – which includes infringements for speeding, mobile phone usage and motorists not wearing seatbelts – was estimated to bring in $503.6 million throughout the 2023-24 financial year.

However, the state government has since revised this figure to $409 million, a shortfall of $94.6 million.

The reductions continue for the 2024-25 financial year, during which the CDOP was first expected to rake in $533.7 million. Now, the figure has been revised to $466.5 million – a $67.7 million shortfall.

Including the $24.7 million revenue loss during the 2022-23 financial year, this means Queensland’s speed, mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras will have raised $186 million less than projected across the three-year period.

This is despite driving offence fines historically going up every financial year in the state.

While the Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) didn’t provide a reason why the revenue has dipped, it suggested safer driving habits and more alert motorists could be a contributing factor.

“In the last 12 months there has been a downward trend in the number of infringements issued across most of the camera types in the program,” a TMR spokesperson told ABC News.

“This is a promising sign of changing driver behaviour.”

The spokesperson also said the number of offences detected per 1000 vehicles which pass its cameras had reduced, but without providing a specific figure.

296 road users were killed in Queensland between April 2023 and April 2024, representing a 5.7 per cent increase on the same 12-month period the year prior.

Earlier this month, the Federal Government announced it will require states and territories to provide previously withheld safety data if they want to receive road funding.

The new five-year funding deal – known as the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects – is due to take effect on July 1, 2024 and will include a $21.2 million investment in the National Road Safety Data Hub, announced in last week’s Federal Budget.

As yet, Queensland is the only jurisdiction to announce it will share data on car crashes, traffic policing, and road conditions with the Federal Government.

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