Are school zone cameras successful?

Courtney Bahnemann
Courtney Bahnemann

The infamous hidden camera initiative was rolled out by the QLD government in September 2022 – but has it been a success or just another flop?

​The end of January saw high-tech speed cameras activated across Queensland school zones in select areas as part of the state’s bid to crack down on dangerous driving around children. 

According to Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey, 2022 saw a record-breaking death toll on the roads in over a decade, with the start of 2023 proving to be an ominous repeat.

“Last year’s lives lost reached a record we did not want,” said Bailey.

“They (cameras) can be anywhere, anytime, right across the state.”

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After three months into the 15-month trial, analysing available data to date can help answer an important question: have the speed cameras worked to enhance safety in school zones across Queensland?

Seemingly, so far so good. 

According to the Queensland Road Crash Weekly Report, between 1 January to 2 April 2023, there were 60 fatalities as a result of crashes within Queensland. For the loved ones of those killed, the figure is a shocking one – but it’s a number that reveals 20 per cent fewer fatalities than for the same period the previous year, and 4.5 per cent fewer than the previous five-year average for the same period.

Additionally, according to police region, Central Queensland has seen the most success, with 78.6 per cent fewer causalities than 2023. In South East Queensland, there has been a 25 per cent increase in deaths.

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Evidently, the experiment still has a while left before results can be conclusive. But, from the results we do have so far, Queensland roads appear to be safer which is a great success for the sunshine state – and something other states will, no doubt, be watching with interest.

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