According to this emailed “warning” to drivers, point-to-point speed camera systems have already been installed on the M5 and M7 motorways in NSW, Australia and are being deployed on “any expressway or highway” where vehicles are not able to exit between two given points.
Point to point speed camera systems do exist and are used in some areas of Australia. However, at the time of writing, they are not in use on the M5 and M7 motorways and there are no reports to suggest that they are currently being widely and systematically deployed across Australia’s highways.
In December 2007, Westlink M7 published the following statement denying the claims in the email:
Westlink M7 has dismissed a hoax email currently circulating that claims that the motorway has implemented a secret speed fine based on the time a vehicle enters and exits the motorway.
Rachel Johnson, General Manager of Westlink M7, said that the email was a hoax and that no secret speed enforcement system operates on the Westlink M7.
Westlink supports safe driving and urges all motorists to comply with posted speed limits.
“However, the secret speed fine system detailed in the hoax email does not exist,” Ms Johnson said.
“Speed limits are enforced on the Westlink M7 through the normal policing measures that operate on all NSW roads.”
“Westlink meets regularly with the NSW Highway Patrol.”
Westlink has installed signs that remind motorists that speed cameras are used in NSW.
These are the standard speed camera signs seen on roads across the state and do not mean that any new or secret speed system operates on the Westlink M7.
A news release on the M5 Motorway website also denies the story:
M5 South West Motorway sets the facts straight on hoax email
The M5 South West Motorway today dismissed a hoax email claiming the motorway has set up secret point-to-point speed cameras.
Rex Wright, General Manager of Interlink Roads, owners and operators of the M5 South West Motorway, confirmed the email, currently circulating in Sydney, is a hoax.
The email falsely claims speed cameras take photos of vehicles entering and exiting the motorway, and based on the time it takes between the two points, issues a fine if the vehicle has travelled too quickly.
“No secret speed camera system operates on the M5 South West Motorway – this is an urban myth,” Mr Wright said.
“There is normal policing of NSW speed limits on the M5 as occurs on the road network generally. We support safe driving and encourage motorists to obey the posted speed limits.”
However, it should be noted that point to point systems are being deployed in some areas. A trial of point to point speed camera systems was conducted in 2004 on sections of the M4 motorway and the Pacific Highway. And, according to a 2007 article in The Age, such a system was also installed on part of the Hume Highway in Victoria. Moreover, Safe-T-Cam, a point to point system aimed specifically at heavy vehicle drivers, has been in use in some parts of Australia since 1995.
Thus, it is quite possible that more point to point speed camera systems will be deployed on different Australian highways in the future. However, at least for now, the information in this email is inaccurate and misleading and its continued circulation is entirely pointless.