A CAMERA installed on the Midland Highway at Bagshot is in the top 10 per cent of revenue earners for the Victorian government, and police in Bendigo are not surprised.
Out of 263 fixed, speed and red light cameras in the state, the eastbound camera mounted before the rail crossing on the Midland Highway earned more in penalties than 240 of them.
In the March quarter, drivers racked up $330,733 in fines.
For the last full financial year, drivers were penalised a total of $1.3 million.
Another camera located metres away to catch westbound drivers at the crossing, raised another $920,000 in 2016-17.
Bendigo Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Ian Brooks said the cameras were installed following the Kerang rail disaster that claimed 11 lives.
They were installed in mid-2007 to detect drivers who raced trains.
No fines were collected for 12 months while the accuracy of the cameras was tested but drivers have been racking up the fines since then.
Snr Sgt Brooks said the cameras were clearly sign posted, as was a change in speed limit to 80 kilometres per hour leading up to the crossing.
But, he said, when people openly admitted they were comfortable travelling five km/h to 10km/h over the limit, he was not surprised at the amount drivers were paying in fines.
“If you deliberately speed, then Merry Christmas, here is a present in return,” Snr Sgt Brooks said.
“Safety cameras are there for a reason.”
In Bendigo, the fixed cameras are installed at the intersections which have a history of collisions.
The state government has introduced legislation that will make it law all funds raised from cameras go back into fixing roads.
Under the new laws, outer-surburban and country roads will each receive one third of the funds and the rest will be used to repair and upgrade roads and level crossings anywhere in the state.
The annual total fines from cameras in Victoria exceeds $300M.
– Sharon Kemp