Ballarat's first red-light camera busts drivers

BALLARAT'S only red-light camera has busted its first motorist.Almost a year after its installation, the digital speed and red light camera at the intersection of Gillies and Sturt streets in Alfredton has been switched on with fines already issued.The Department of Justice had told The Courier the camera would be operational in the first half of this year.But a department spokesperson said it wasn't wholly uncommon for cameras to take longer than expected to activate."It can take a little longer depending on infrastructure, testing and certification," he said.“The most important thing is to get it right.”The department spokesman said the intersection was chosen after the department, in consultation with Victoria Police, took a range of factors into consideration including crash statistics and local environmental factors.He said it had not been determined when or where another camera of the sort would be installed in the city.“One in four fatal collisions in Victoria occur at intersections, and since being introduced red light cameras have contributed to a significant decrease in the number of fatal and serious injuries on Victoria’s roads,” the spokesman said.A series of comprehensive tests were conducted from February this year to ensure the device’s proper functioning.The camera was not fully operational until the end of November, and was part of a statewide camera upgrade announced in last year’s state budget.RoadSafe Central Highlands executive officer Gerard Ryan said the camera would reduce the risk of injuries at that particular point.“Any reduction in speed is going to assist in saving lives and less serious injury,” he said.“That intersection has been identified because it has a higher crash statistic and a slower approach to it will help make it safer.”The locations of mobile and fixed speed and red-light cameras in Victoria can be found on the Department of Justice website.