Western Australians who occupy the sides of roads and take to social media to reveal the location of speed cameras must do it by the book, lest the book be thrown at them.
Curtin University student Chris Doukakis spends much of his spare time helping to manage the ‘Perth WA Revenue Raisers Alert’ Facebook page.
He also takes time out from his studies to hold speed camera warning placards up on the side of the road.
Mr Doukakis says he is not afraid of getting into trouble for posting locations or holding warning signs because he does not get in the way of speed cameras or their operators.
“As long as you stay out of their way, [the police speed camera operators] are generally really cool,” Doukakis yells over the sound of passing Kwinana Freeway traffic.
“Sometimes they’ll even give me a wave before they leave.
Sergeant Adam Bolloch from Morley Police station says there is nothing wrong in posting locations online or holding up signs as long as they do not impede traffic or police officers doing their duty.
“If they want to stand on the side of the road saying ‘speed camera ahead’, it’s a free country, then go ahead and do that,” Sergeant Bolloch says.
“It’s just when they stand right in front of the camera, threaten police officers online, or otherwise, or run in front of the traffic to slow it down that they can get in trouble.”
Western Australian Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia says that hindering police work can attract court sanctions and a criminal record.
“By all means enter into the conversation and become better informed about the state’s road safety strategy, but don’t interfere in policing,” Mr Papalia warns.
According to WA Police statistics, in 2014-15, mobile police speed cameras scanned 24,318,694 vehicles, 531,741 of which were found to exceed the speed limit.
About 3 million more cars were scanned by mobile speed cameras in 2014-15 than during the previous year.