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Mobile Speed Cameras in NSW
If you have ever received an infringement notice for a traffic offence having been caught exceeding the speed limit or running a red light camera, you know that road safety camera fines and demerit points are a frustrating and inevitable consequence. In NSW, mobile speed cameras and red light cameras are a significant part of speed enforcement for road users.
Speeding vehicles are a major contributing factor to road tolls, and over the last year or so of lockdowns, road users have faced unprecedented amounts of camera fines as a result of speeding, red light and mobile phone-related offences on our roads.
What is a mobile speed camera?
In NSW, speeding cameras are either fixed speed cameras (i.e. cameras in a fixed location, often in high risk locations such as tunnels or where severe crashes have taken place), or mobile speed cameras which are able to be moved from location to location. Recently, mobile speed cameras have been introduced into unmarked vehicles placed on the side of the road in a speed enforcement effort across NSW – a move that has faced scrutiny and criticism for targeting particular areas such as regional NSW.
The rationale behind mobile speed cameras is the unpredictability of their placement. Unlike fixed camera sites which often follow a warning sign, mobile speed cameras are able to act as a general deterrent against speeding offences as they do not only reduce the likelihood of speeding and collisions at a fixed speed camera location.
As mobile camera locations change, and warning signs which warn road users of upcoming camera sites, road users are encouraged to consider that they may be caught anywhere and at any time on the NSW road network.
What do mobile speed cameras detect?
Mobile speed cameras are placed on the side of the road, in a location where they are able to clearly detect the make, model, registration plates and colour of the vehicle when a road user is caught exceeding the speed limit in place at the location of the camera. When a road user triggers a mobile speed camera, the camera will capture an image of the vehicle and record the following information:
- the date and time of the offence;
- location details of the mobile speed camera;
- the speed at which the road user was travelling;
- the speed limit on the road where the camera system was in operation; and
- any other security and integrity parameters.
What happens if you get caught speeding by a mobile camera?
The consequences of being caught on a motorway by a mobile speed camera will be the same as if you are caught speeding in a fixed camera location. High risk driving offences such as speeding and/or running through a red light will all result in a penalty notice which will contain a fine, as well as demerit points. The penalty notice will be issued by Revenue NSW and will contain the details of how much you will need to pay and how the fine is to be paid. This will often be followed by a letter from Transport for NSW containing any demerit point details as well as whether the offence has resulted in a suspension of your license.
If you receive a penalty notice, it is important to consider your rights and whether you may have grounds to have the notice reviewed.
Camera Locations in NSW
While mobile speed camera locations are not published, a full list of fixed camera sites located around Sydney and NSW can be found on the Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety website. Similar sites will likely be available in other States around Australia, including Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
The above is general legal information and should not be considered legal advice. You should speak with one of our migration lawyers for legal advice tailored to your specific legal matter. The courts and tribunals deal with matters on a case by case basis. It should also be noted that there may be delays due to COVID-19. Our lawyers are based in New South Wales (Sydney), we cannot assist with legal advice in other jurisdictions including Victoria (Melbourne), Queensland (Brisbane), South Australia (Adelaide) or Western Australia (Perth).
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Frequently Asked Questions.
To be charged with arson, it must be proved that the arsonist acted intentionally or recklessly (ie knowing that their actions may lead to a fire breaking out, but did it anyway).
Generally you cannot be charged with arson for negligence as arson by definition requires you to have intended to damage property, or known that what you are doing might damage the property and acted anyway.
Negligence will not necessarily get you off the hook, as the prosecution may choose to charge you under other areas of law such as “causing grievous bodily harm by a negligent act.”
Assuming it hasn’t been burnt, police often rely on evidence such as fingerprints and DNA, accelerants as well as circumstantial evidence such as telephone records, GPS logs/SMSs, telephone taps or intercepts, and materials, items found, and any other scientific evidence available.
Arsonists commit arson for a number of reasons. Sometimes it can be for-profit or gain, animosity, vandalism, crime concealment, political objectives, and of course psychopathological factors.
There is a range of charges relating to arson varying in seriousness. Arsonists found guilty can be looking at a maximum of 10 years imprisonment if they intended to damage property, up to 25 years if they intended to endanger life.
Arson is the act of maliciously setting fire to or charring property or things such as cars, boats, or leaves in a public bush to cause bushfires.
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