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Speed cameras back as travel bans eased

Speed travel restrictions eased

Queensland Police have reintroduced random speed cameras just in time for the eased pandemic travel restrictions from Saturday (2 May 2020).

Riders will only be allowed to travel within a 50km radius of their homes, not outside the state and only with one other rider or several if they are from your household.

When the lockdown started in early March, Queensland Police stopped using random speed cameras.

However, they will be back in force along with patrols to ensure motorists do not travel further than 50km from home. Otherwise, they face a fines of $1330.

Police released a video of speeding examples, including  a rider doing 161km/h in a 110km/h zone on the Pacific Highway at Pimpama on Monday (27 April 2020).

Other speeding motorist examples were:

  • 73km/h and 152km/h in 100km/h zone on Old Goombungee Road, Birnam (April 26);
  • 168km/h in 100km/h zone on the Bruce Highway between Barretts Road and Howard Heights Road, Cherwell (April 27); and
  • 153km/h in 70km/h zone Albert Street and Logan River Road, Bethania (April 27).

The police move to bring back speed cameras follows our recent article which showed traffic offences are understandably down as there are fewer vehicles on the road, but the lockdown is also creating lonely roads where motorists are hitting some ridiculous speeds.

It seems some riders and other motorists have been exploiting the lonely roads and lack of speed cameras, often with late-night and early morning high-speed runs.

Two 20-something motorcyclists riding at speeds up to 200km/h were charged following two separate pursuits with NSW Police in Sydney’s south west.

NSW Police say that during the lockdown there has been a 40% increase in high-range speeding offences over 30km/h and 45km/h compared with the same period last year.

Queensland Police gave us three other examples of high-speed riders who recently copped high-range speeding offences costing $1245 and eight demerit points:

  • On April 1 around 4.14pm a 31-year-old man riding a Harley Davidson was allegedly detected travelling 194km/h in 100 zone on Logan Motorway at Larapinta;
  • On April 2 around 10am a 37-year-old man on a Yamaha motorcycle was allegedly detected travelling 126km/h in a 60 zone on to Logan Motorway onramp at Drewvale; and
  • On April 6 around 10.30am a 61-year-old man on a Honda was detected travelling 102km/h in a 60 zone on Tamborine Oxenford Road at Wongawallen.

Rules eased

Google Maps shows how far Ipswich riders can go.

This weekend, Queensland restrictions will be eased allowing riders to travel 50km from their home for recreation.

It is among several eased measures that will be used as a test to see if the public can exercise some restraint and control.

Authorities say they will penalise flagrant abuses.

They may also penalise the rest of the community by tightening restrictions again if too many people flout the rules as we saw last week when Sydney opened beaches only to close them again after they became overcrowded.

Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says riding a motorcycle is exercise and therefore legal.

She says NSW Police have not booked anybody for riding a motorbike, “because that is akin to riding an exercise bike”.

However, NSW Police have further interpreted the rules to say people can leave their house for “brief exercise in your own neighbourhood”.

But you can ride to visit a “partner” with whom you don’t live.

So it’s not a free-for-all under the pretence of exercise.

Gladys’s claim that police have not fined riders is also not entirely correct.

On 9 April 2020, a motorcyclist was stopped by police on Oxford Street, Gateshead.

Officers spoke with the 36-year-old man, who allegedly provided “multiple conflicting reasons for not being home before stating he was on his way to help a friend fix a bike”.

The officers deemed his reasons for travel as non-essential and issued the man with a $1000 fine.