Western Highway cameras target truck drivers

CAUTION: New cameras on the Western Highway at Ballan will target trucks, not cars and other vehicles, through number plate recognition technology. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

CAUTION: New cameras on the Western Highway at Ballan will target trucks, not cars and other vehicles, through number plate recognition technology. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

New cameras placed across the former Western Highway speed check at Ballan will monitor trucks through number plate recognition technology.

Drivers concerned the highway now included permanent speed cameras can rest easy, with VicRoads confirming the cameras were set up by the federal government.

Cameras have been installed at five sites across the state and will monitor truck number plates.

It costs between $200,000 and $800,000 to establish the sites along heavy vehicle corridors and at black spots.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said in April the new cameras were being funded under the government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.

“Victoria’s roads will be safer for all drivers, with the roll out of new automatic number plate recognition cameras to five sites across the state’s major freight networks,” he said.

“These types of high-tech monitoring cameras have been very useful in encouraging safe driving practices.

“In the future they will be linked to other Australian states through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator as part of a national effort to improve heavy vehicle safety,.

“Putting more cameras on the ground is a critical step towards a national camera network and better data sharing across borders will reinforce our efforts to make our major freight networks safer.”

​National Heavy Vehicle Register chief executive Sal Petroccitto said the heavy vehicle camera network is part of the register’s broader plans for a national compliance and information system.

“It will support real-time, agency-linked, data-collection anywhere,” he said.

“National visibility of vehicle movements will allow the NHVR and other enforcement agencies to identify drivers and operators who systematically flout fatigue laws.

“The NHVR is currently working with other state road transport authorities to identify additional camera sites, which are located within the busiest freight routes, to maximise heavy vehicle monitoring capability.”

Other roads in Victoria with the new cameras include the Hume Highway at Wallan, the Calder Freeway at Gisbourne, the Goulburn Valley Highway at Murchison and the Princes Highway at Yarragon.

Mr Chester said authorities would be able to use the cameras to better detect risky and unsafe driving on the state’s roads.

“The reasons behind road accidents are complex and require a multifaceted approach to improve safety,” he said.

“Which is why we are providing a $4 million boost to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s activities.”