Man's 'stupid' mobile speed camera act ignites debate among Aussie drivers

A witness claims the man 'stole' the mobile speed camera warning sign before tossing it down a drain in Lake Macquarie.

An apparently irritated man’s mobile speed camera act has divided Aussie drivers, with some praising him as a “legend” and others deeming him a “flog”.

A Lake Macquarie local claimed the man “stole the speed camera signage” on Monday morning from a main road in the suburb of Edgeworth, west of Newcastle, before tossing “it down the drain nearby”.

“If you get booked for speeding during this time there was no signage, and [it] was still missing at 10am,” they posted on a community Facebook page. A series of images show the man carrying the speed camera sign down the side of a road as traffic builds up. At one point he appears to turn around and flip off a driver.

The man carrying the mobile speed camera away from the post it was leaning on, off a main road in Lake Macquarie on Monday morning.
A man allegedly 'stole' a mobile speed camera sign on Monday morning from a main road in Lake Macquarie before tossing 'it down the drain nearby'. Source: Facebook

Drivers divided over speed camera act

The man’s defiant act had locals up in arms, with some slamming his behaviour as “stupid” and arguing that the cameras must be signposted. However, numerous other people praised the “hero”, saying drivers who are speeding deserve to get fined.

“Sorry, but if you get booked it’s your own fault, you shouldn’t of been speeding in the first place,” one person commented online. “Well if people are too stupid to stick to the speed limit so be it,” another added. “If you get booked you were breaking the law... pretty simple, don’t speed anywhere,” someone else said.

NSW backflips on speed camera signs

Three years after its controversial decision to remove them, the NSW Government reintroduced the portable speed camera warning signs last year. Now all mobile speed cameras are required to carry them, in addition to a retractable rooftop sign.

“I’ve always said I would rather people slow down in the first place than receive a fine in the mail two weeks after they committed the offence,” NSW Premier Chris Minns said at the time. “It became a situation where this program was collecting more from low-range speeding fines in one month than they did in the previous 12 months.”

A Transport for NSW spokesperson stressed while the signs are not a legal requirement, their mobile speed camera program is the "most clearly sign posted program in Australia".

"The signage gives speeding drivers every opportunity to change their behaviour and to help remind drivers to stick to the limit and remind community that they can play a role in helping ensure passing drivers can see the signs," the spokesperson added in response to the man's behaviour.

A mobile speed camera is seen on the M1 Motorway south of Brisbane.
All mobile speed camera vehicles in NSW are now equipped to carry portable warning signs. Source: AAP

Driver's can't contest fine if warning sign is missing

Last month questions were raised about whether or not drivers could contest a fine if a warning sign in front of a mobile speed camera had fallen down or was not entirely visible.

Sam Macedonia, principal at Macedonia Legal, warned that’s not the case.

“Speed limits are speed limits and we all have to obey them, whether we get a friendly warning or not,” he told 2GB. “Think of all the people who get caught on an expressway where there's a highway patrol car in the bushes and you fly past and you get caught on the radar. There's no warnings there but you’re still guilty of speeding.”

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