News & Views

Motorists being unfairly fined on SE Freeway

Motorists are being unfairly caught speeding on the South-Eastern Freeway due to a lack of effective signage.

RAA Senior Manager Road Safety Charles Mountain said after analysing SA Police data for all fixed safety cameras, it was clear where motorists were making the most mistakes.

“The two cameras on the SE Freeway, at Leawood Gardens and Crafers, issued speeding fines to more than 25,000 people in 2014/15, totalling more than $10 million,” said Mr Mountain.

“In fact, the camera at Leawood Gardens accounts for 9.5 per cent of all fines issued from fixed safety cameras in Adelaide and surrounds.”

In 2014/15, there were 17,043 people fined for speeding at the Leawood Gardens camera on the SE Freeway.

“The speed limit in this area is typically 90km/h, but when conditions require it, variable speed signs leading up to this camera can be altered to lower the speed limit for the safety of motorists,” said Mr Mountain.

“Almost 5 per cent of speeding fines issued from the Leawood Gardens camera were issued when the speed limit had been dropped to 60km/h, with motorists caught doing at least 20km/h over the limit.

“We would suggest that these motorists had not even seen the variable speed sign alerting them to drop their speed.

“Obviously motorists need to take responsibility for their actions and drive with caution as required.

“However, if the infrastructure in the area isn’t allowing them to do that, because they aren’t being clearly notified that the speed limit has been dropped temporarily, that doesn’t seem fair.”

RAA would like to see better signage installed on the SE Freeway to properly notify motorists when the speed limit has been adjusted.

“This might include additional variable speed signs, further up the road, or signage to notify people why the speed limit has been dropped,” said Mr Mountain.

“It might also be wise to consider constructing signage that hangs out over the three lanes of the SE Freeway, rather than simply on the side of the road.

“The SE Freeway is well-known as long and steep descent into the city that can be difficult to manage at times, and being a multi-lane road, there are a lot of things for motorists to focus on.

“To ensure the safety of motorists, it only seems fair that our roads, and supporting signage, are designed to help people drive as safely as possible.”

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