Victoria expects to reap 843 million dollars in traffic fines

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Sydney, Oct 7 (UNI) The southeastern Australian state of Victoria is expected to earn a whopping 843 million dollars in fines and regulatory fees in 2007-08 from traffic rules violators.

Senior police officials have revealed thousands of people pleaded to have their fines reviewed each week by the Traffic Camera Office.

Many drivers who admit to speeding were formally applying for an official caution instead of a fine because of their previous good driving record. Others simply deny speeding and say they should not be prosecuted.

Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby said police were open to any reasonable requests to review fines.

If drivers are caught speeding less than 10km/h over the limit and have not had an infringement in the past two years, they are eligible for a caution. And if a driver is caught speeding several times on any given day, police will consider only proceeding on the worst speeding offence.

''We want to continue to have an enforcement regime that's fair and reasonable and recognises individual needs,'' Mr Ashby was quoted by The Sunday Age as saying.

''Let's face it, that's the 'fair go' factor. Nothing wrong with the fair go factor. Every Australian wants that but a fair go doesn't mean you endanger other people's lives by speeding,'' he added.

With a debate raging over the reliability of speed cameras and more motorists challenging the technology in court, Mr Ashby said police recognised some drivers might be wrongly fined because of human error but denied there was anything technically wrong with the state's speed cameras.

Private operator Tenix last month lost the 150 million dollar contract to run Victoria's mobile speed cameras after a number of bungles by its operators.

Camera operators can now be fined up to 50,000 dollars for errors.

Transport Accident Commission figures reveal that more than 656,000 motorists were caught by mobile speed cameras in the Continent's most densely populated state between June 1, 2006 and May 31, 2007.


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