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Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Community stands up against speeding fines

RHYS THOMAS

OUTRAGED Malanda locals gathered for a meeting at the Malanda Showgrounds recently after community members were struck with nearly 600 speeding fines totalling $300,000.

The small town comprising of only 2,600 people has been whacked with numerous speeding fines over the past few months due to an unmanned speeding camera placed on the Malanda/Atherton road.

Residents were receiving notices more than three weeks after the infringements occurred and within the space of a week, over 400 fines were dished out by the camera.

Member for Hill and Katter’s Australia Party member Shane Knuth said over 360 people contacted his office over the camera.

“Laws are in place to change behaviour but how on earth is placing a camera on a road which is a low crash area justified,” Mr Knuth said.

“How is giving an emergency nurse seven fines, or a pensioner visiting his wife in the nearby aged care facility a way to change people’s behaviour if they are not notified until a month after the alleged offence?

“This is purely about revenue raising and not only do I have serious concerns about the criteria used to determine where these devices are placed, but also the process in place to test these devices everyday they are at these locations.”

Tablelands business owner Cirsty Bonadio said she has been working around the Malanda area for the past month and a half and has received a several fines.

“I know one of the fines is under my name and I observed the camera, I saw my speed before I passed it and it was 61km/h – I then received a fine in the mail for 71km/h,” she said.

“A couple of our employees that have been done speeding are not speeders – in 16 years we’ve only ever received two fines so to receive five in a week was not right.”

Previously the Department of Transport and Main Roads issued a statement stating that the camera was functioning correctly after Mr Knuth raised the issue back in October.

One of the key criteria for the placement of a speed camera, according to TMR, is that at least two speed-related accidents need to have occurred in the general area within the last five years.

Mr Knuth asked the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey to provide information about accidents that warranted the speed camera, the Minister is yet to respond.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Police recruitment hits all-time high and Preventing violence against women and children.

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