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Types of speed cameras and red light cameras

Find more information about where speed and red light camera fines are used.
Speeding and disobeying red lights are major causes of road crashes.

Driving through a red traffic light increases your chances of crashing into a pedestrian or vehicle that has started moving through the intersection from a different direction.

Disobeying a red traffic light can result in a right angle road crash. These types of road crashes are particularly dangerous for vehicle occupants because the:

  • sides of vehicles have less protection to absorb the impact force compared to the front and rear of the vehicle
  • hit vehicle can potentially spin out of control or roll over resulting in subsequent road crashes and injuries.

Speed and red light cameras are installed throughout Queensland. Cameras are installed where:

  • crashes often happen
  • motorists commonly drive above the speed limit or disobey a red light
  • road workers, pedestrians, or other road users are at risk.

Camera Detected Offence Program

There are different types of cameras used in Queensland by the Queensland Police Service. The Queensland Camera Detected Offence Program (CDOP) includes the following types of speed and red light cameras:

Approved photographic detection devices used throughout Queensland are listed in Schedule 10 of the Traffic Regulation 1962

Some cameras are permanent and operate 24 hours, 7 days a week, with other camera types operated by Police officers at certain times. We use both marked and unmarked vehicles — so if you speed or disobey a red light, you could be caught anywhere, anytime.

Speed and red light cameras have a proven record in reducing the road toll. An evaluation completed in 2017 by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) found that Queensland’s speed and red light cameras were estimated to be associated with an overall reduction in all police reported crashes of between 24 and 30 per cent over 2013-2015. This reduction represents an annual saving of at least 3,400 crashes of all severities per year.  Savings to the community were estimated at between $618 million (human capital) and $1.4 billion (willingness to pay). Over 98% of the savings associated with the program are attributed to the mobile speed camera program which operates anywhere, anytime.

Visit Road Safety Research Reports to find out more information on MUARC’s research.

Mobile speed cameras

There are up to 3,000 mobile speed camera sites throughout Queensland. We select sites using strict criteria, including an assessment of speed related crash history. Other reasons to establish a mobile speed camera site include a known high-risk of speeding, in school zones, or at roadwork sites where the road workers health and safety may be at risk.

Sites are approved by regionally based Speed Management Advisory Committees, made up of representatives from the Queensland Police Service, Department of Transport and Main Roads, RACQ and local governments.

We use 2 types of mobile speed cameras in Queensland at approved sites: 

  • Mobile speed cameras—vehicles fitted with speed camera equipment which can park on the side of the road to monitor the speed of passing traffic.
  • Handheld speed camera devices on the side of the road by police officers, which can also be set up on a tripod.

Police officers operating mobile speed cameras from vehicles and police officers with hand held speed cameras, can position themselves at these sites at any time of day or night, on any day of the year.  Police officers can operate mobile speed cameras from marked and unmarked vehicles either in uniform or in plain clothes at approved sites.

Speed enforcement is anywhere anytime on Queensland roads.

View the list of mobile speed camera sites.

Fixed speed cameras

Fixed speed cameras are cameras that we permanently install on roads or at intersections throughout Queensland. Fixed speed cameras are used to make sure road users follow the signed speed limit at specific high crash locations or on known high-risk roads.

We select fixed speed camera locations by examining sections of road with a history of crashes related to speeding, and that may also be difficult or unsafe to monitor by other enforcement methods.

Locations are based on:

  • crash history
  • crash potential
  • a history of 5 or more speed-related crashes within the past 5 years. 

Some fixed speed camera locations may not have crash history but may have significant risk factors. Sites based on crash potential, instead of crash history, aim to minimise the crash risk for new and existing roads, for example in tunnels.

You can read more about crash history data used to select fixed camera locations.

Red light cameras

Red light cameras are cameras located at intersections with traffic lights. The photographic detection device is programmed to activate when a vehicle crosses the solid white stop line after the traffic light is red. These cameras take photos of vehicles that fail to stop at red lights. They are usually attached to a pole or other infrastructure and placed a few meters back from the solid white line, which marks the start of the intersection.

The Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009 states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a red traffic light must stop the vehicle as near as practical to, but before reaching the stop line.  Once your vehicle has travelled over the solid white stop line, you have committed an offence.

Red light cameras operate 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Combined red light and speed cameras

Combined red light and speed cameras are located at intersections and detect both red light and speeding offences. Speeding vehicles are detected whether the traffic light is red, yellow or green.

The camera can detect red light and speeding offences at the same time and you can be fined for both offences.

Combined red light/speed cameras operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

We select combined red light/speed camera locations by investigating crashes and reviewing crash data (or the potential for crashes) that has occurred at intersections with traffic lights.

Road safety camera trailers

Highly visible road safety camera trailers are deployed to high risk areas including highways and motorways, roadworks sites and school zones. Once the camera trailer is deployed and set up, its operation is managed and monitored remotely with daily checks. 

To prevent theft and vandalism, the camera trailers have an extensive security and tracking system which monitors the camera trailer location 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are also fitted with 360 degree CCTV cameras, audible alarm systems and communications to Queensland Police Service who can view live CCTV footage.

Road safety camera trailer sites are selected using strict criteria, including an assessment of speed related crash history or potential crash risk.

View the list of road safety camera trailer sites.

Point-to-point speed cameras

Point-to-point cameras have been proven to reduce instances of speeding along high crash risk locations and improve traffic flow and density.

Point-to-point speed cameras can enforce speed limits at locations where other types of speed enforcement may be difficult or dangerous, and monitor locations 24 hours a day without an operator, freeing up police resources for other duties.

We select point-to-point speed camera locations by analysing lengths of road with a history of crashes (or the potential for crashes) that result from speeding. Road lengths generally include high volume roads, such as motorways and highways.

Speed camera and red light camera fines

The money collected from speed camera and red light camera fines is used to run the Camera Detected Offence Program and to fund important road safety initiatives such as:

  • road safety education and awareness programs
  • road accident injury rehabilitation programs
  • road funding to improve the safety of the sections of state-controlled roads where crashes happen most frequently.

This is a requirement under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.
Camera fines received during 2016-17 were spent on the following programs:

Topic

Amount

Road accident injury rehabilitation projects–blood and blood products

$4.5 million

Improvements to the safety of state-controlled roads

$118.946 million

Road safety education and awareness

$15.424 million

You can read more information of the Camera Detected Offence Program financial overview in Appendix 3 of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Annual Report 2016-17