From today, motorists will be represented by Australia’s first independent Road Safety Camera Commissioner as the Victorian Coalition Government continues to increase integrity measures around speed and red light cameras.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Peter Ryan said former County Court Judge Gordon Lewis AM would provide independent oversight of Victoria’s road safety camera system.
“Today marks another watershed moment in the Victorian Coalition Government’s efforts to provide greater transparency and public accountability around Victoria’s road safety camera system,” Mr Ryan said.
“The recent Auditor-General’s report, instigated by the Coalition Government, found speed and red-light cameras were accurate and focused on saving lives, not on raising revenue.
“The Coalition Government’s appointment of a Camera Commissioner will ensure motorists have an independent avenue to check the validity of Victoria’s road safety camera system.”
Mr Ryan said Judge Lewis would have the power to review and investigate any aspect of the camera system and make recommendations to government based on his investigations.
“The Commissioner will report to Parliament on an annual basis and his findings will also help to inform the Coalition Government’s road safety strategy,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said, in addition to being a former member of the County Court, Mr Lewis had extensive experience working across government, having overseen the review of integrity assurances in the Victorian racing industry.
The Road Safety Camera Commissioner’s office will perform the following roles:
- quality assurance and reporting: to independently monitor and review current camera operations.
- investigation and review: any part of the system at his own choosing, or if requested by the Minister to do so.
- complaints management: so any person who feels they have been hard-done-by can lodge a complaint with the Camera Commissioner, though it will not be his role to intervene in individual cases; and
- reference group: the Camera Commissioner will be able to establish a reference group of external advisors to assist him in his role.
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Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had made a range of sweeping reforms to Victoria’s road safety camera system since the State Election.
“A new website www.camerassavelives.vic.gov.au was launched in 2011 to provide information about the number and value of traffic camera infringements, which was previously kept secret under the Labor government,” Mr Ryan said.
“The website is also regularly updated with clear information about how Victoria’s camera system worked in a bid to give greater transparency to our state’s road safety cameras.
“The Coalition Government has also expanded the use of roadside signs to promote road safety, especially on country roads, and we will continue to work with our road safety partners to reduce the incidence of fatalities and road trauma in Victoria.”
The Road Safety Camera Commissioner’s Office can be contacted on 1300 651 838 or by visiting www.cameracommissioner.vic.gov.au
Complaints or correspondence to the Commissioner should be in writing and addressed to the Road Safety Camera Commissioner, Locked Bag 14, Collins Street East, Melbourne VIC 8003.Media contact: Sonia Heath 0413 485 526