Belt up or pay up

By Lachlan Byrne

The days of slowing down for a speed camera and putting your seatbelt on when you see a police car coming may soon be a thing of the past with six, new, point-to-point mobile cameras to be rolled out following the successful completion of a six month trial period.

Minister for Road Safety Paul Papalia says the new cameras will be better equipped to keep drivers accountable and ensure they’re doing the right thing.

“We have seen in other jurisdictions that it is a good enforcement tool and it’s just a reminder, people are more likely to comply if they’re more likely to get caught.”

“These cameras will change people’s behaviour and save lives.”

Mr Papalia discusses the specifics of the new cameras. Audio: WA government.

Mr Papalia commended WA Police for their efforts in policing the issues of seatbelts and mobile phone usage but conceded the superiority of the new point-to-point cameras.

“It is virtually impossible for police to have the impact that these cameras will have because they employ technology that is increasingly capable to identify huge numbers of vehicles and they detect mobile phones and seatbelts,” he says.

“In the past, an officer on a bike would have been our best chance of catching someone in traffic using a mobile phone so clearly these cameras are much more effective.”

Katanning resident Barbara Groves has a lot of experience with country road accidents through years of work with local ambulance services.

“The more cameras we can get out there the better. A lot of road accidents come from country drivers’ complacency behind the wheel.”

“There’s been a huge increase in country road deaths and accidents. With these new cameras it’ll make people change their behaviour and not use their phone or forget to put their seatbelt on,” she says.

“Making drivers more aware that the cameras are out there will definitely lower the number of deaths on country roads. At the moment they feel like they can get away with it because nobody is there watching them.”

Country driver Lloyd Allen, originally from Bridgetown, spends a lot of time on country roads and says the new cameras will make the faster roads feel a lot safer.

“I think the implementation of these new cameras will make communities feel safer and make drivers on the road feel safer going to and from Perth.”

“In small community towns it definitely impacts us when there’s an accident or a death on the roads because it’s either someone in the community or someone close to the community.”

Lloyd Allen talks about the new initiatives to cut the road toll. Video: Lachlan Byrne.

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