Redflex Traffic Systems and Macquarie Bank - Speed Cameras
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Redflex Traffic Systems and Macquarie Bank - Speed Cameras

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I recently watched a segment on Channel Nine's "A Current Affair" in which two very disturbing facts emerged:

1) There are rumblings about increasing the number of speed cameras by over 2000%.

2) Macquarie Bank (commonly referred to as the "Millionaire Makers") has made a takeover bid for the company which operates many of the speed cameras on our roads (Redflex Traffic Systems).

In light of this, I asked prominent Traffic Lawyer, Peter Proctor who appeared on the ACA story, to offer his opinion of the situation. I think his views are quite clear.

Redflex Traffic Systems

Video excerpt taken from an A Current Affair (Nine Network) story in which Peter Proctor was interviewed on 23 March, 2011.

Criminal Justice or Criminal Profits

Following a $300 million takeover bid by Macquarie Bank of Redflex, (the operators of a large proportion of fixed speed cameras and controllers of all mobile speed cameras), movements are afoot to increase the number of speed cameras from 144 to over 3000 units.

Fixed Speed Cameras
It is very much an area of dispute as to whether the prevalence of speed cameras, does in fact reduce accidents on our roads. A recent study in Great Britain concluded that the presence of speed cameras can in fact increase the occurrence of motor vehicle accidents rather than reduce them.

So the question then remains - why such a dramatic increase of cameras?

There can be no other conclusion - PROFITS!!

Late last year, the RTA released a contract to Redflex for the provision of mobile speed cameras. Part of the contract involved the payment of additional commissions if the operators achieved particular KPI's (Key performance indicators).

This created a furore in the media at the time, as one of the KPI's related to "prosecutability" which was later removed, however, the cameras are now operating, Redflex apparently is making huge profits and the "Millionaire Makers" - Macquarie Bank in late February, 2011 launched a bid of some three hundred million dollars to take over this money making venture. It is expected that this takeover will take effect in June.

So, what are we dealing with here? A "law and order" issue, the policing of which, is outsourced to private enterprise. For what purpose you may ask? Clearly - a money making venture. Why else would Macquarie Bank outlay $300 million.

We have heard reports of an increase in Speed Cameras in the order of 3000 units. This is mind boggling.

We understand that this outfit will own and operate a large proportion of the State's fixed digital speed and safety cameras, not to mention a monopoly on all mobile speed cameras, bus lane cameras, vehicle emission cameras and point-to-point cameras

Already there are huge profits being made with the number of cameras already in existence.

For example, it is reported that the revenue for January, 2010 was $27,716. With the new additions now in place, there were $1.75 million in infringements sent out for the month of January, 2011. Safety camera revenue for the period July to January 2011 was apparently $7.230 million with the capture of 31,175 drivers.

The revenue for fines in the State budget for 2008-2009 was $295 million. The estimate for 2011-12 is $570 million.

It is not difficult to imagine the profits to be gained by increasing the number of cameras 20 fold. It will be simply a money making venture at the expense of the drivers of this State and an outrage to say the least.

Our Criminal Justice system should not be tarnished by commercial considerations, particularly where such enormous profits are to be made out of motorist's infractions of the law. Such ventures will surely give cause for concern as to the integrity of the whole system at large and the possibility for gross corruption infiltrating it at various levels.

Apparently there is to be a lowering of the speed threshold such that penalty notices will come into play for the most minor infraction. This will mean that if a person is over the speed limit to a small degree, there will be no tolerance and a penalty notice will issue. Further, there is no warning of the mobile units up ahead

It is not difficult to understand why Macquarie Bank is attracted to such venture

A 20 fold increase in speed cameras will have an exponential increase in revenue both for the Government and Macquarie Bank in the years to come - from the pockets of hard working Australians.

Peter Proctor
Proctor & Associates Solicitors & Barristers
Office: Level 3, 22 Hunter Street. Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone: 02 9687 3777
Facsimile: 02 9687 4403 (Int'l +61 2 9687 4403)

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