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RACQ goes from dumb to dumber over Queensland's speed cameras

QUEENSLAND'S peak motoring body has condemned
moves to outsource speed camera operations as a
"shameless grab for cash at the expense of driver safety".
The Courier-Mail revealed extra speed cameras would be rolled out across Queensland and operated by civilians instead of police in State Government changes aimed at cutting costs and boosting revenue.

 RACQ Executive General Manager Advocacy Paul Turner said the State Government had lost sight of the purpose of the cameras.

"The Queensland Police manage speed cameras as a way to improve road safety and outsourcing their operation to a private company can only mean that profit is the number one priority,'' Mr Turner said.

"It appears that in their attempts to raise revenue, the State Government has forgotten that speed cameras are there to make our roads safer, not their budget fatter.''

His comments follow confirmation from the Police Minister's office that a review of speed camera operations is underway in partnership with Transport and Main Roads.

A spokesman for Minister Jack Dempsey said a number of service delivery models were being looked at, including outsourcing the operation to a private company, civilianising speed cameras or moving the function to another department of government, as has occurred in New South Wales and South Australia.

COMMENT: Below is an extract from an earlier article describing the exorbitant amounts Queensland Police earn from "speed camera" overtime:
"POLICE officers who sit in mobile speed camera vans pocket a total of $26,210 in overtime payments every day.

Figures provided by the Queensland Police Service show $9.567 million was paid to the 600 officers trained to operate the vans in 2011-12.

The hefty sum averages out to an extra $15,945 a year for each trained operator. Under current police service protocols, virtually all mobile speed camera operations are conducted as overtime, outside an officer's normal rostered hours."
Paul Turner
It defies logic why Paul Turner from the RACQ sees the need for professionally-trained police officers to sit in a car to oversee the operation of speed cameras.  Just as traffic controllers have replaced police on key duties over the years and security guards now do police-type work, there is no reason civilians could not be responsible for speed cameras. 

Let's face it, a couple of days training would be more than adequate - and at a lot lower cost.  The Police Minister Jack Dempsey is 100% right to do something about the $9.567 million paid to officers to operate speed camera vans last financial year.  The  RACQ is still living in the ice age if it believes the police can do the job more cheaply than civilians or private companies.
The money saved could be used for greater road safety initiatives in Queensland or for more speed cameras which would actually improve road safety - the exact opposite of what the RACQ is claiming.
Paul Turner should get his head out of the sand and open his eyes and stop bagging the State Government over this issue.
Thanks to the efforts of ther Queensland Police Union, the cops are now well paid in this state and don't need the extra cream for doing overtime speed camera work.
Maybe Paul Turner's bosses at the RACQ should be vetting his work more-closely before he comes out with any more clangers.