An Aussie bus driver is seeing red after capturing a speed camera vehicle he claims was "illegally" positioned on the side of the road, slamming the operator as a "low-life". The motorist claims the operator was putting drivers at risk by parking his four-wheel drive on a nature strip between a road and the entry of a petrol station.
"Legal or not, I don't care," Darren Brown told Yahoo News Australia. "He was hindering the trading of that business and on a footpath. I don't care that it was the grass section of the footpath."
Brown said he'd filed a complaint with the Department of Transport. He also shared his frustrations in a Facebook post. "Looks like this unconscionable, and I'm pretty sure illegal s**t, is starting back up all over again," Darren wrote online. "I thought we were past this."
"This idiot is hindering the safe exit from the business, with the car hindering line of sight in a no-stopping zone and parked on a footpath. I took these pics and the low-life decided to pack up. Funny that."
Department of Transport investigates
After being contacted by Yahoo, Transport for NSW said it had reviewed the enforcement session at The Entrance Road at Long Jetty on November 15 and "found it to be compliant with established policies and procedures".
"The mobile speed camera vehicle was found to not be obstructing the footpath or the driveway," a spokesperson said, before explaining that speed camera operators had a parking exemption in the NSW Road Rules that allows them to operate from the verge or nature strip. "But this does not apply when access is obstructed to footpaths, bicycle paths, driveways or similar access ways," the spokesperson confirmed.
"Allowing parking on nature strips is consistent with the intention of the mobile speed camera program to provide 'Anywhere, Anytime' speeding deterrence and mitigates the risk of other vehicles being parked close to mobile speed camera vehicles which impacts signage visibility," the spokesperson added.
While some Facebook users argued that "the line of sight was not blocked" and that there was ample distance to spot approaching traffic in a "highly active area with numerous jerks speeding through", others sided with the bus driver.
"Imagine if we, the common, parked like that?" one local asked. "I get that [the exemption], still doesn't mean that they can park in a dangerous spot. Bet they don't own up if they cause a fatal accident."
Another said "when they do this s**t, I would park to block them", describing how they would "lift the bonnet and pretend there is a car problem".
Warning signs reintroduced
The requirement to display signs alerting drivers of an upcoming mobile speed camera was removed in late 2020, sparking outrage. After the number of low-level speeding fines increased tenfold, authorities backflipped and reintroduced the warning signs in January 2023. There now legally must be four signs around all mobile speed camera operations.
Two portable signs reading "Mobile speed camera ahead" are placed before the camera vehicle, with a further portable sign after the vehicle reading, "Your speed has been checked". There must also be a retractable rooftop sign mounted on the vehicle.
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