Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to 3,000+ Reviews, Guides, & More

Cars bigger evaders of speeding fines

speeding cameras covert
Queensland Police no longer need to use this sign

Speeding cars with obscured number plates are much bigger evaders of speed camera fines than motorcyclists without front number plates.

A New Zealand authority earlier this year called for fixed and mobile speed cameras to be turned around to photograph the rear of vehicles after noting many motorcyclists evading fines.

For years Australian police, safety Nazis and transport authorities have been researching the introduction of motorcycle front number plates to address the issue.

If you’re after a personalised plate click here for Absolute Reg!

Statistics don’t lie

However, our research shows that motorcyclists are not the biggest evaders of speed camera offences, after all.

We asked for statistics from several states, but only received replies from NSW and Queensland transport and police departments.

In the past year, NSW recorded 71,111 speed camera offences unable to be issued because a vehicle could not be identified. It was 60,332 in Queensland, representing about 10% of all 582,554 speed camera offences.

However, NSW says speeding fines could not be issued to only 2712 motorcycle riders, or just 3.8% which is fair as motorcycles are about 4% of all road users.

In Queensland, the stats show only 759 motorists or 1.2% could not be recorded because there is no front number plate. Furthermore, not all of those would be motorcycles as some cars, trucks and other vehicles may have been missing a front number plate.

So the argument that motorcycles should have front number plates so they can’t avoid speeding fines is ridiculous. Statistically, it’s just not that much of an issue!

That doesn’t stop police and mainstream media frequently demonising riders by publishing sensationalist stories showing riders speeding or doing a wheelie past speed cameras.

They claim thousands of riders are wantonly avoiding speeding fines, but the statistics show they are not as big an issue as obscured plates on other vehicles.front number plate turn speed cameras around speeding

Speed camera use

Fixed and mobile cameras can be used to photograph the front or back of a vehicle.

It seems police are often likely to shoot the front of a vehicle so the motorist has less time to reduce their speed when they see the camera.

Also, the rear plates are often obscured by road grime, tow balls and other fixtures.

In fact, in Queensland, unclear plates represent 45,121 (75%) of the unidentified speeding vehicles and in 3081 cases (5%), the plate is obscured by a fitting.

Case against front plates

A comprehensive 2014 Victorian Motorcycle Council report found that implementing front number plates – or “people slicers” as they used to be called – would cost the motorcycle community millions in initial outlay and ongoing annual costs.

Their front number plate policy statement covers issues such as aesthetics, costs, road safety, history, speeding offences, design rules, electronic tags and more.

In one of the most compelling cases, the VMC claims it would cost the Victorian motorcycling community some “$30 million with an ongoing $1 million-plus annually plus the cost of a yet-to-be-determined suitable FNP design. This is a significant impost on any community and such a cost imposition for no net benefit should categorically rule out the proposal”.

They say it would also ruin the resale value of Victorian motorcycles and affect the interstate trade in bikes.

  1. A moot point which one expects will be resolved by technological advances in the next 5 or so years – eg. when you register your bike you are provided with a transponder which you fix to the bike (a round piece of plastic which won’t slice you up). It is sensitive to\activated by speed cameras, mobile speed cameras, toll road stations, road work sites – you name it – pretty much anywhere where authorities deem adherence to a particular speed is important.

    Watching the fiasco of drivers (not) trying to merge on the M1 heading to\from the Springsteen concert last night I pondered how long it will be until all vehicles can be externally controlled by computer to perform these types of mass traffic manoeuvres. 10 – 15 years max me thinks for cars and trucks. Probably the only hope for large cities like Brisbane which can’t cope with current traffic volumes but are happily planning to double populations over the next 20-30 years.

  2. Should be given a medal for exceeding speed limit, not a fine 🙂

    because anyone I’ve seen travelling over the speed limit is a competent driver
    so why are we fining people for being competent drivers?

    Good story.

  3. In england most of the hated average speed camera installations alternate between front and rear facing, and other fixed cameras are in either direction, often in pairs facing opposite directions about the distance of a facebook-addict’s attention span apart. Mobile sites (either camera van or police officer with handheld) usually have some form of CCTV facing the opposite direction to the sppeed camera in order that missing plates or bikes are reliably caught.

    Of course what tends to happen with mobile cameras is the patrol just down the road picks up the first bike they see, regardless of colour or type. 136MPH Sir? On an XV535? Can I have a copy of my picture please, I’d like to frame it… You can go, apparently it was a black sportsbike not an oxide-red cruiser.

  4. In years past Mercedes, Jaguar and various others had “Emblems” on the bonnet of each and every model. Then there were some car owners that fitted “Air Intakes” to the bonnet of their car. These type of things have been dispensed with or modified. The Mercedes, Jaguar and various others now have “Emblems” that are now badges a few millimetres high on the bonnet or as part of the grille. The “Air Intakes” now have their opening at the back and not the front as in years past.
    If today a pedestrian were to be hit by a car they will have a reasonably clear path over the bonnet and not be impaled on the “Bonnet Emblem” or the forward facing air intakes and if they slid past the external mirrors they would fold in and not be as much of an obstruction as they were in the past.
    Front number plates on motorcycles would seem to go against all the thinking over recent decades.

  5. The issue of “avoiding fines” is a distraction. By now with the development of engineering of motor vehicles , and roads and the accumulation of over 100 years of motoring experience. Most thinking people realize speeds which may exceed the present posted limits even by as much as 20 km will be safe depending on the circumstances. Conversely , you will see people slow down without the need for signage when conditions are adverse. They required no one to tell them!
    The sacred “speeding” is a term used by state governments and their police departments to justify the accumulation of revenue , think of how pedantically the traffic code in enforced , no not policed or monitored “enforced” .This is just revenue .
    Various authorities will cite safety , but that is just the great generic statement , probably more travesties have been committed against the public in the name of safety then what has been achieved in its name. And I am told in official reports on crashes the issue of speed is not considered. There would be more bingles occur at speeds within the speed limits than those exceeding.

Comments are closed.