Victoria’s new budget crisis: “massive” traffic fine collapse

Anyone living in Melbourne would know that we live in a nanny state. Speed limits have been lowered across the board with fixed ‘road safety’ cameras planted strategically to fine unwary motorists for travelling a few kilometres per hour above the lowered limit.

Along with stamp duty, the Victorian Budget has also become reliant upon this fine revenue to stay in the black. But now a budget black hole has developed due to the fine system failing on a “massive scale”:

The software system used by Fines Victoria to collect court fines and infringements for parking, red-light camera and speeding offences does not work, leading to a massive backlog of infringement notices that cannot be enforced by the Department of Justice…

The debacle has left a hole in the state’s budget of $328 million. The income, which the government booked for the 2018-2019 financial year, is now reclassified as “doubtful debts” and looks set to also hit state revenue hard in the current financial year.

Magistrates and County Court officials confirmed they had 123,000 outstanding fines and councils have also been left out of pocket, with some threatening legal action…

The problem has been blamed on a software package called VIEW, bought off the shelf from British company Civica in a $103 million contract and originally designed to enforce London’s congestion charge.

Sources described the VIEW software as “death by a thousand clicks” and said the system was absolute chaos, and that teams of technicians were working in Melbourne and Britain to fix it, but VIEW will not be operational for at least a year.

Aren’t these ‘road safety cameras’ all about saving lives, not revenue raising? That’s what we are told.

The truth has been revealed.

Comments

  1. Go back and find the people who gave the green light to use VIEW. See if there were any financial ties and crucify them if so.

    • You probably can’t find anyone responsible. Public servants have all long been fired in interests of efficiency. Contractors almost certainly used to make the decisions. What could go wrong?

      • Agree. No one gets sacked unless contractors. Likely they got promoted. But this is across al Vic gov. I used to work in the courts… They could have had a single system for all courts like south Australia… But not, each one had to have their own spending millions. And what’s worth was many projects in the millions were canned like “ops”.

  2. Maybe VIC can take a lesson from NSW. According to the SMH, “The NSW government expects to bring in $830 million in fines next financial year, an increase of 26 per cent”.

    The fines are mostly about revenue raising, rather than improving public safety by stopping you driving 62km/h in a 60 zone.

    • It’s always been about revenue. To think we’ve done anything in the last 50 years that hasn’t slowly pushed us toward revenue-based everything is very foolhardy. It’s how the Game of Mates works. Turn everything into a financial tool, sell, then exploit it.

      • As we have move away from real capitalism towards corrupt, crony capitalism this is becomes inevitable. Until we do away with all the schemes and scams like restricted house building, land banking, mass immigration to lower wages and fill landlords speculative purchases, 3rd party auditors as mentioned in another article here today, outsourcing of anything and everything. de-regulated banks, low or no taxed big business and so on. Add to all that the enabling goverment we have today which truely believes that house price inflation is real economic growth, all of which can only get worse (imagine Dutton as PM) then we will have our Trump/Borris moment but still the Murdoch press people will be too dumb to realise whats been done to them.

    • you must be joking
      62km/h in Sydney is possible only on Sunday late night in some remote locations

      speed limits are now completely redundant, but going on red is the only way to get somewhere in less than eternity

  3. GunnamattaMEMBER

    “death by a thousand clicks” 

    That is the new black for bullshit jobs either in or attached to the public sector, and particularly beloved by anyone in management of anything remotely ‘service’ and loathed by their generally temporarily employed underlings..

    • Duke_WellingtonMEMBER

      Make it complex, make it expensive, stick it in the cloud, sell it as a service – maintain it forever.
      Upper management love this shit. It is cancer.

    • I think large private corporations are even worse … people spend half a day each day trying to fix software issues

      • Gotta love that ousourced IT service. Either directly or through imported labour.
        Turns out you get what you pay for. Whocoodanode?

    • That’s a tipical IT project in government. Implementation – > user acceptance – > doesn’t work or do what we need – > can it.

      • Here’s a true story. When I worked at the Vic Treasury I went to a presentation on how Melbourne’s traffic congestion had reduced, which made absolutely no sense.

        I prodded the presenter and found out that since congestion was measured by the difference between the posted speed limit and actual speeds, and posted speed limits had been reduced across the board (i.e. many 60km roads turned into 40kms), congestion had reduced.

        Juking the stats…

        • Sounds like how NSW rail made trains run on time, first they extended journey times in the timetable. When that didn’t work well enough they just started cancelling trains. A cancelled train doesn’t count as late in the statistics

        • When we lived in Auckland nearly 20 years ago, one of the news programmes ran a story about the reduction in the speed limit from 100 to 80 k’s on the motor way through Auckland central to “improve traffic flows and reduce congestion”. The journo walked around the gridlocked traffic asking driver’s about the new speed limits, the responses were unsurprisingly funny.

  4. Queensland’s speed cameras are for road safety. I know this because they have a sign saying “For road safety” beneath the cameras.

    • People can be so cynical to think the state is only after their money and not thinking about their best interests.

  5. run to the hillsMEMBER

    Melbourne is definitely a nanny state in regard to roads. From my home in North Sydney it’s about a 20 minute drive to the airport outside of peak hour, other than slowing to about 83 kmh in the Eastern Distributor tunnel to avoid speed cameras, for which you are given ample warning from signage, you can comfortably drive 10 to 15 km over the speed limits with little fear of being caught, I’ve done this drive hundreds of times in this manner. If you undertook a similar drive in Melbourne you’d likely accrue several thousand in fines and probable loss of licence by demerit points! I’m not trying to condone speeding but the limits are enforced in a vastly more relaxed way in NSW.

    • Speed enforcement in Victoria would have to close to the strictest on the planet.

      Unsurprisingly, it’s not even the safest place to drive in Australia, let alone the world.

  6. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    driving in Victoria has become a joke, I love it how on the highway overtaking can take minutes as someone hoons past you at 101kms an hour to your 100, when does the ‘this is just stupid’ moment happen for Victoria, seriously

    I avoid the snowflake state at all costs

      • When you pass under the second bridge leaving Geelong there is a speed check – it has a camera attached lol – almost every bridge now has a speed camera in one or the other directions.

        That speed check shows my car is over clocked by at least 5 kph. Add in the fact that you will not be busted for 2kph over speed and you can comfortably drive at 107 kph on your speedo and never be ticketed.

        Have done so for years.

        Have checked in my last 3 cars and its always the same and have confirmed with manufacturers.

        Sit on 107 kph. 105 to be safe.

        • The cameras are at the Lara (Avalon Rd) Overpass, then there’s the speed check at the Beach Road (Airport) Overpass and then another camera at Pt Wilson Overpass. The opportunity to be fined before a speed check always stood out to me as disingenuous. I’ve found the speed check reasonably accurate.

          P.s. this is the government’s official URL (laugh react) https://www.camerassavelives.vic.gov.au/camera-locations

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          Yep, indicated 106 in the old ute registers 100 on the big bridge display.

          It’s been invaluable in saving my licence and those of the morons tailgating me and getting all angry. My favourite trick when knowing a speed trap is about is to let angry tailgaters pass just before the flash zone. Good times…doing my bit for the economy it is.

        • A, you missed the camera at Palmer Rd William’s Landing.

          Best story on Geelong Rd cameras was last year when new British head of Metro Fire Brigade went to Geelong for the first time and came back with 6 substantial speeding tickets.

          • Ah yes, Dan Stephens. He offered to resign over it. The man had integrity unlike the Andrews government letting the UFU have their run of the MFB and CFA.
            I’ll now out myself as having been the MFB industrial officer for the past 10 and a half years. I left because the place is unfixable. FRV will be no different.

        • You can thank the Australian government or your speedos innacuracy, rather than a typical requirement for +- 3 km/h pr whatever the legal requirement is -0+5km/h or similar, so any attempt to make it actually accurate could easily see you under reading, hence all speedos overread to be in the middle of the allowable accuracy range.

  7. VIEW software

    teams of technicians were working in Melbourne

    Probably 45 year old foreigners on $10/hour whose resumes said “I programmed ISRO rockets”.

  8. They could balance the budget in my local school area alone, just by fining all the vibrants who park illegally / can’t park at all.

    If there was also a fine for having the front left headlight or rear left taillight of the car bashed in, they’d all get doubly fined. Classic sign of someone who never learn to drive or park. I call it the Mumbai Headlight and it’s everywhere. They never seem to get it fixed either. So much for population growth boosting the economy via consumer spending.

  9. John Howards Bowling Coach

    This Victorian Budget saver has been a scam forever. The truth of their intention and reliance on the ‘safety camera’ program is laid bare by the fact that there is forecast revenue in the budget each year from cameras and it grows as a revenue item each year. How can you forecast revenue in advance from law enforcement? Simple, you game the system to ensure it delivers revenue that you want and anyone who protests is told it is your own fault for breaking the law. Never mind that the goalposts keep moving and there is no direct fact based evidence in setting of speed zones as the research body is funded by the same people who benefit from more speeding fines.

  10. Time to recalibrate those camera… say you’re in a 60 zone and you’re really doing 58, it will read as 66.

  11. I was driving on a straight section of dual carriageway (2 lanes each way, with a median strip down the middle) in Canberra on a fine day in perfect conditions a couple of months ago. In my boyish enthusiasm I got up to 91 km/h when the speed limit is a ridiculous 80 km/h and had the misfortune to drive past a mobile speed van.

    The fine was $293 which seems like a mammoth penalty to me given the nature of the offence.

    Nobody in the world could convince me that this is about road safety.

    • serves you right as it will make you a safer driver – your eyes should be on your speedometer while driving not looking at the road 🙂

  12. Software developer on 100k *100 = $100million for an entire year.

    I could produce a ticketing system for the entire country with half that.

    Absurd.

    • Right until you drive past a copper and the disco lights come on after the camera in his car reads your plate and flags it as invalid.

  13. Love the USA. Speed all u wanted thru california. If u stick to the limit u will be passed.

    Dont cops in vic have more serious matters like arresting rampaging gangs?

  14. And electric cars will kill fuel excise, and autonomous cars will then kill all these fines.

    Just drove in Eastern Europe, on a freeway between cities. 140km/h was the limit, but not really enforced.

    Pretty exhilarating, but excessive fuel burn (could see it on the car infotainment system). Settled at 120kmh, but I could see that lower was best for optimal fuel usage.

    Tesla cars most optimal at about 70km/h: https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/15/tesla-range-plotted-relative-to-speed-temperature-graphs/

    So no complaints about 100kmh being the limit in Australia, its pretty sensible to save fuel that way.

    • Many people are willing to trade fuel for time on a long drive though. Don’t see many poeple other than the grey nomads doing the 80 or so on the motorway for fuel efficiency.

  15. In NSW (don’t know if it’s the same in Victoria) the NSW government SDRO has given up in collecting fines for cars registered to someone with an international drivers licence.

    The issue is the scale of the migrant guestworkers fraudulent identity, false addresses & other details .

    Cases of migrants as PR or even citizens still on international drivers licences a decade later, an underground industry in false identity, hiding behind language & cultural barriers or just blatant theft lies & fraud.

    -/-

    Excerpt : ABC
    “International drivers not chased up by department”
    The ABC has obtained an email sent between workers from the NSW State Debt Recovery Office that reveals that when international licence holders were nominated as drivers, fines were not followed up.

    “This is an international licence — we do not chase up licence/DOB details,” an email from an SDRO worker responding to a query about a statutory declaration nominating an overseas driver read.

    “I have no way of checking other than ringing the declarant — but it is international so we don’t worry.”

    The investigators who uncovered the fraud pressed for a wide-scale audit and a full criminal investigation by police. But, the request was ignored by those in charge at the Roads and Maritime Service.
    -/-
    There is evidence also of widespread migrant guestworker fraud in avoiding demerit points by churning thru variations of foreign international druver licence identity – easily and cheaply obtained, one Indian driver when caught found to have used 14 different Indian international driver licences and identities.

    Given there are 5 million non citizens on foreign passports in Australia (1.9 million PR, 2.56 million TR/SCV and 440k tourist visitors working illegally on long stay & repeat visas – 90% or 4.5 million in just Sydney or Melbourne, there is about 2.4 million non citizens in just Sydney alone.

    Say 1 vehicle per 3 migrant non citizens, that’s nearky 800,000 vehicles in Sydney driven by someone as a foreign nationals, usually with an international drivers licence.

    Say fines of $1,000 a year for 1 car in 4 or 200,000 of those vehicles as a very generous under estimate.

    That’s $200 million of fines being evaded by the migrant guestworkers.

    That’s one hell of a revenue hole as well as a public safety issue. The Australian taxpayer and driver picking up the tab in higher fines & demerit points.

    Just another aspect of our broken borders and our totally corrupted visa system.

  16. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Only fines I have gotten in last few years is when I venture into Victoria………those sneaky cameras have no warning signs and you only know about them after the flash
    ………..creepy place it’s becomming indeed ………..perfect territory for the OBOR ……facial recognition….the lot ……take it away Gladys ….