The Queensland Government claims it is the first jurisdiction in the world to embed speed cameras into school zone signs, launching a two-year trial this week.
A ‘world-first’ installation of speed cameras embedded in school zone signs has begun in Queensland, coinciding with the start of a new school year.
The covert school zone speed camera trial started on 23 January 2023 at certain locations in Queensland, after being foreshadowed in August 2022.
In Queensland, school zones operate from 7am to 9am and 2pm to 4pm.
During active school zone hours, the speed limit is reduced to 40km/h on roads with a normal limit of 50km/h to 70km/h. Roads with a regular speed limit of 80km/h or more are reduced to 60km/h.
According to the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, 70,132 speeding infringements were issued to drivers who were caught breaking the posted speed limit in school zones between 1 January 2018 to 30 April 2022.
Figures show 36,326 tickets were issued to drivers who exceeded the school zone speed limit by 13km/h to 20km/h – accounting for more than half of the penalties in the 51-month period – while 27,493 drivers were caught speeding by less than 13km/h.
The school zone speed camera trial is due to run until the end of April 2024 alongside a police operation which aims to catch speeding motorists in roadworks zones.
Bright yellow roadworks speed cameras (pictured below) have been disguised to look like heavy equipment on a work site.
In a media statement, Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the new speed cameras would help to enforce the speed limit in areas with the most vulnerable pedestrians.
“Speed kills and there is no apology for enforcing speed limits in school zones and roadworks sites”, Mr Bailey said in a media statement.
“No one wants to carry the guilt of the death or injury of a child walking to or from school, or a roadworker simply carrying out their job.
“These new speed cameras force drivers to slow down in order to avoid a fine or incur demerit points, there is no penalty for doing the right thing.”
Mr Bailey also reiterated the state government’s new financial and demerit point penalties which came into effect on 1 July 2022.
“In line with our tough stance on road safety, we have increased penalties,” Mr Bailey said.
“Now if you speed 1 to 10km/h over the limit you will be fined $287 and one demerit point, and between 11 to 20km/h the fine is $431 and three demerit points.”
In 2022, Queensland recorded its highest road toll since 2009, with 299 road users killed throughout the 12-month period – the most of any Australian jurisdiction despite being the third most-populous state.
From 1 January 2023 to date, 13 people have died on Queensland roads.