I would like to thank Greg Neiman for his balanced and insightful comments regarding the issue of adding a further photo radar unit into the system.
I have been sitting as your traffic commissioner since January 2009, being primarily responsible for adjudicating those speeding tickets that are contested in this jurisdiction.
It is indeed a frustrating event to receive one of these photo radar tickets in the mail, but it is a friendly reminder that driving should be considered a privilege and not a right. The financial penalties attached to these offences is intended to be a deterrent to the speeding behaviour.
The difficulty with photo radar tickets, however, is that no demerit points attach to these offences as the driver of the vehicle is not penalized, only the owner of the vehicle. From this perspective, the offending driver may receive no impact from the consequences of their actions, leaving the owner of the vehicle to bear the fine. As a system, we have to hope then that owners of vehicles who allow others to drive them take some recourse against the actual offenders, or the message is lost.
I have as a matter of course where drivers exceed our limits in excess of 50 km/h suggested they take a defensive driving course prior to being sentenced. I also as a matter of course have seriously considered licence suspension in these circumstances where I feel that a financial penalty is insufficient as a deterrent to the behaviour.
It is clearly not a perfect system and one that may not necessarily address the appropriate party, but if owners begin to be more stringent in who they allow to drive their vehicles, the message may eventually get to the offending parties — and yes, I too have received those dreadful tickets in the mail and simply chalk it up to a friendly reminder that I should be safer than sorry, ease up on the peddle and get to where I’m going in one piece.