Aussies shocked by 'next level' camouflage job for roadside speed camera

People found the approach by police so 'hilarious' they thought it was a stunt.

There are few things that make drivers grumble more than a speed camera hidden out of sight and in some states it's illegal not to give forewarning. But for most Aussies "sneaky" camera positions are a part of everyday driving, with authorities adopting interesting methods to catch motorists out.

On Thursday one speed camera in particular caught the attention of a passerby while he travelled through northwest Adelaide. The man spotted the device despite the fact it was wrapped in a camouflage tarp – a detail that left him shaking his head.

Left, the roadside has trees and shrubs with the hidden speed camera (right) barely visible.
The hidden speed camera had camouflage tarp wrapped around it among trees at the side of the Adelaide road. Source: TikTok

The mobile camera was positioned among trees and shrubbery at the side of the road in West Lakes and even after the passenger shared it online some admittedly thought the setup was too amateur to be legitimate, thinking it could've been some sort of stunt instead.

"Speed camera in disguise!" the passenger wrote, describing it as a "next level" effort by police.

Aussies enraged by hidden speed camera

After the passenger's claim that the camera in question was a speed detection device positioned by authorities, many were quick to call the method "illegal" and accuse police of trying to boost state revenue by dodgy means.

"Saving lives one dollar at a time," one disgruntled Aussie wrote, while another argued there should at least be a sign warning drivers they are approaching the camera – an idea in direct opposition to the camouflage covering the camera.

However despite the reaction, the use of covert speed cameras is permitted in South Australia — meaning no sign, warning or clear identification is needed. The state government is not required by law to notify drivers they are approaching a speed camera or show the position of one. Covert speed cameras differ from state to state but, with the exception of NSW, everywhere else in the country use some form of them. In NSW, speed cameras must be preceded by a portable warning sign for drivers.

South Australia Police confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the camera in the footage was indeed an operating speed detection device to issue fines to drivers.

SA Police are well within their rights to hide sneaky speed cameras. Source: TikTok
SA Police are well within their rights to hide sneaky speed cameras. Source: TikTok

Overt vs covert speeding cameras

The question of whether all Australian speed cameras should be overt — meaning driver's are given warning and are made aware of them — or not is a debate which jurisdictions cannot agree on.

NSW operations are highly visible with all speed cameras brightly marked with a warning sign before and after it, while the ACT use signs on top of otherwise unmarked vehicles. Queensland has markings on the vehicles themselves.

However it is broadly believed by authorities that compliance of speed is best achieved when drivers are not made aware of the presence of speed cameras. In South Australia motorists cop a $196 fine and lose two demerit point if caught speeding less than 10 kilometres per hour over the speed limit.

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