Speed and red light camera types
Speeding and running 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. Camera locations are where:
- crashes often take place
- motorists commonly drive above the speed limit or run a red light
- road workers, pedestrians, or other road users are at risk.
Speed and red light camera types
There are different types of speed and red light cameras used in Queensland. The Queensland Camera Detected Offence program includes the following types of speed and red light cameras:
- mobile speed cameras
- fixed speed cameras
- red light cameras
- combined red light and speed cameras
- point-to-point speed camera systems.
Some cameras are permanent and operate 24 hours, 7 days. Police officers operate others at certain times. We use both marked and unmarked camera locations—to enforce the idea that if you speed or run 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 2014 by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) found that Queensland’s speed and red light cameras were estimated to be associated with savings of nearly 6,000 police reported crashes annually between 2009 and 2012. This translates to an annual savings to the community of around $650 million. Over 96% of the savings associated with the program are attributed to the Queensland Police mobile speed camera program’s philosophy of anywhere, anytime.
Visit Road Safety Research Reports to find out more information on MUARC’s research.
Mobile speed cameras
There are around 3,700 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 or roadwork sites where the workplace health and safety of workers is at risk.
Sites are approved by regionally based Speed Management Committees, made up of representatives from 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.
- Portable speed cameras—used as hand held devices or set up on a tripod on the side of the road by police officers.
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.
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 black spots 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. 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.
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 is 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 automatically 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.
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 freeways or highways.
Speed and red light camera fines
The money collected from speed 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 (PDF, 1.7MB).
Camera fines received during 2014-15 were spent on the following programs:
|Road accident injury rehabilitation projects–blood and blood products||$4.5 million|
|Improvements to the safety of state-controlled roads||$100.3 million|
|Road safety education and awareness||$16.149 million|
|Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital – Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) Program||$1.08 million|
|RACQ DocuDrama Program||$240,000|
You can read more information of the Camera Detected Offence Program financial overview in Appendix 4 of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Annual Report 2015-16