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Questions about expiations

Are expiations about revenue raising?

No, the aim is to prevent speeding and reduce crashes at controlled intersections. 

Since road safety strategies have been put in place, deaths and serious injury as a result of crashes on South Australian roads has gone down. This includes speed and red light safety cameras.

The statistics for road crashes in 2012 when compared with the statistics from 2005 show a:

  • 32% reduction in deaths
  • 39% reduction in serious injury.

Since 2002 there has been a 50% increase in the number of vehicles complying with the 60km per hour speed limit.

Red light and speed camera sites are selected on the basis of road safety criteria by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. While red light and speed cameras can be revenue intensive, enforcement is used as an educational strategy to slow traffic and reduce road trauma.

Do red light cameras have quotas and revenue targets?

No, as part of the budget process the expected revenue from the safety camera program is forecast.

Forecasts are not targets and there is no expectation or pressure from the Department of Treasury or within South Australia Police to meet targets. Forecasts are regularly reviewed and varied. The number of expiations issued is not considered as a performance indicator for either fixed or mobile safety cameras.

How can I be sure safety cameras are maintained and accurate?

Speed and red light safety cameras undergo rigorous certification, maintenance and testing.

Each camera system is tested regularly to ensure that:

  • the speed measurement device is accurate
  • it is operating correctly.

Technical repairs are carried out in National Association of Testing Authorities accredited workshops and laboratories or by the camera manufacturer.

The maintenance history of each camera is documented and monitored.

If safety cameras have always been accurate, why have so many of them been decommissioned?

Thirteen end-of-life analogue camera systems were decommissioned in 2012. These systems used a traditional wet film camera. They have been replaced with digital cameras. The cameras were updated to give motorists more confidence in the details the images provide. The accuracy of the devices is the same.

How are faulty safety cameras managed?

Safety cameras are maintained regularly to ensure they are operating correctly.

When a safety camera is found to be faulty it is defected, turned off and the fault is corrected. 

Infringements are not accepted or processed when a safety camera is faulty.

Notices issued since the last time the camera accuracy was checked are reviewed and if necessary withdrawn.

Technical repair is carried out in National Association of Testing Authorities certified workshops and laboratories or by the camera manufacturer. 

The maintenance history of the camera is carefully documented and monitored.

The safety camera is recalibrated and speed checked before being put back into use.

Why did the safety camera flash when I wasn't speeding and I didn't get a fine?

This is not uncommon. On a multi-lane road a safety camera may be triggered by a vehicle in another lane. 

Some safety cameras will activate on vehicles passing the first loop, then calculate there is no speed offence and delete the incident. 

The safety camera will record the event on a log file but the vehicle identifiers are deleted and the photographs cannot be accessed.

How can I be sure that the radar didn't bounce and read something else?

Radar bounce occurs when a radar beam redirects from a surface and reads the speed of a vehicle other than the one in the frame. 

Bounce can be detected when a photograph is adjudicated. If bounce is detected, then the photograph is deleted. The cameras have software features that will delete reflected readings in some circumstances.

Radar bounce can be identified on a photograph. The data block identifies the direction of travel of the detected vehicle. If the direction of travel is different to the direction of the vehicle a review can be requested.

For example, if the direction of the vehicle reads 'away' when the car is approaching the radar.

How can I be sure my fine is correct?

Expiation notices are not issued automatically. Every photograph is reviewed by a trained adjudicator. 

Quality assurance is important. If there is any doubt an expiation will not be issued. However, not every photo is reviewed.

Human error can occur and mistakes can be made. 

If you think there is a mistake ask for a photograph, or view it online. If you are still unhappy you can

  • request a review
  • contest the expiation notice in court.

Download the Request for review form
Download the Request for review form

View your traffic photo online

What is a clerical error?

Clerical error was a term used for many years to explain why an expiation notice was withdrawn.

This term is no longer used when a matter is withdrawn.

Why isn't a photograph provided with the original expiation notice?

In South Australia the law requires a photograph is provided or made available for viewing on request.

Phone 08 8463 4388

  • for a copy to be sent by post.
  • to make an appointment to view the photo with a police officer.

View your traffic photo with a police officer at:

Police Headquarters
100 Angas Street
Adelaide SA 5000

View your traffic photo online

Who considers contested expiation notices?

Requests to review an expiation notice are considered by the Manager, Expiation Notice Branch. 

Contested expiations notices are considered by a magistrate in a court.