Speed Camera Operations
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Speed Camera Operations

    Hi all,
    I always want to ask this...
    I know that newer cameras are digital and in theory ticket are printed even before you get home. But...

    Do fixed speed cameras only work in one direction? Not both, right??

    And I heard that newer versions use infra-red flash thus producing no visible "confirmation" that you have just been flashed. Is this correct?

    Lastly, are there 3 cameras in the Syndey Harbour Tunnel?? (1 near entrance, 1 halfway, and 1 near exit, both directions)

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    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    As there are signs from both directions, I'd say you can safely bet that fixed cameras work in both directions.

    After all, why not? Two lots of revenue for the price of one...

    You get the people who haven't bothered to check their speed down the hill on the great open highway with no cross roads and 2km clear vision... and you get the people who want to get a little extra speed up so they make climbing the hill easier.

    Yes, it's a help to all...

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts tekkie's Avatar
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    why am I not surprised you posted here Ray.

    ha ha, your touch of sarcasm is heart warming. wink

    It is a tad weird about those signs though. I guess thay make sense if the cameras take happy snaps in both directions. I wonder if someone could actually confirm it.
    .
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  4. #4
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    You can check by looking at the bitumen just after the camera. I beleive thats where they put the speed sensors.

    There is usually a neat, carved-out rectangle similar to the pressure pads they use at traffic lights.

    I could be completely wrong though, as it seems they change technology quite often.

    <small>[ 08 October 2003, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: macquered ]</small>

  5. #5
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    You're wrong...

    They are radar units.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    There y'go wink

    Even in the tunnel?

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! buzzedmi16's Avatar
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    The Rules and regs in Canberra for speed cameras is kinda wierd from what i can work out..
    A static camera, ie. red light cameras can only take a photo of the rear of the vehicle, because it is in a position alot hight then the car, for privacy reasons, and therefore only go one way, at one intersection here there are signs at all 4 corners, but the camera is only on one side. The van camera's are aloud to take photo's of the front of the car.
    I know all of the red light camera's in Canberra work off the pad's in the groun routine, they can't by design work off a radar, because it would only be able to concentrate in one area, so they'd need a bout 3 different radars for a 2 lane road, then the radar could be slightly off, so they could get a car behind you, so they use the pads in the ground... just means that it has to be your car and no one elses...
    Buzzed 405...Got a problem?

  8. #8
    UFO
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    OK, living in what seems to be the NSW home of speed cameras now, I can give you some facts:

    These are all based on what I see and know from the Wollongong area:

    1/ Cameras only work on the side of the road that have signs on them. How do I know this? At the bottom of Mt Ousley there is a camera pointing at the south bound traffic and signs for that traffic. Traffic going north has no signs for this camera and is not detected.

    Its nearby cousin gets traffic northbound only and does not do southbound - I know this from a friend of a friend's experience. wink

    Both these cameras work off sensor strips embedded in the road surface.

    (BTW - these are two cameras that I actually agree with - they slow down traffic approaching what is often a clogged up freeway exit for the TAFE and University. This has prevented many accidents)

    I have seen other drivers get done with these cameras and they do flash.

    2/ We have one of the new both sides of the road radar setups at a nearby school. This can and does get traffic both sides at the same time using slant radar.

    3/ NSW law was quietly changed a couple of months ago to allow front of car photography. This over rode the privacy law. So if you're speeding and you've got a "bit on the side" in the car with you, you are in serious trouble!!

    So, it seems that they'll get you if they want to. cry
    Craig K
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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts tekkie's Avatar
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    Brenno,
    Just noticed the *SOLD* in your sig. Congrats and comiseration's.

    Craig,
    the road sensor pad, isnt it to activate the laser/radar to speed check the car? From what I gather the road sensors are hardly sensitive enough to be used for speed check. that wouyld explain why Ray was adamant on the radar being used.
    .
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  10. #10
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    tekkie:


    Craig,
    the road sensor pad, isnt it to activate the laser/radar to speed check the car? From what I gather the road sensors are hardly sensitive enough to be used for speed check. that wouyld explain why Ray was adamant on the radar being used.
    OK, I see your point. Who's a willing volunteer to check this out?
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  11. #11
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    I can vouch for them not operating in the "opposite" direction...

    That's the one on Parramatta Rd at Auburn near Bunnings.

    Dad can vouch for it working in an Eastbound direction
    I know it doesn't work in a Westbound direction

    The sensor pads... well, the one on James Ruse Drive, just south of the Parramatta River has sensor pads (3 black lines on the road in each lane) both northbound and southbound. They're splayed to be in one straight line from the camera across all 6 lanes (3 each direction).

    I haven't "tested" it. I think MY 4 may have though?

    Derek.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Here's some info I have been able to gather.

    Victorian speed cameras are imported from Holland of the Gatsometer brand (the same lot who make the red light cameras), with the camera mounted on the dash, a radar antenna of about 100mm by 500mm black box mounted on the bumper bar of the car.

    A strobe flash unit is sometimes used, although not much these days as the flash is a give away to the average motorist of the presence of the speed camera. This reduces revenue.

    The beam is shot across the road at about a 22į angle, and is good for about 40-50 metres. Since distance (range) isn't a concern a continuous wave (CW) radar is used. The Doppler shifts (positive or negative) of the return signal is used to calculate the vehicle's speed. They operate on K-band (18.0GHz - 26.5GHz), at about 0.5mW.

    Interestingly, K-band is very nearly centred on the resonant frequency of water. This is how microwave ovens operate by heating the water particles in food.

    I wonder what the output of an 800W magnetron would do to the sensitive front end of a speed camera! There wouldn't be any TR cells or dummy loads to absorb the radiation. Any one used a microwave oven magnetron to jam speed cameras?

    The units can check vehicles in both directions, from the front and behind.

    The Gatsometer photo radar has the ability to be used in moving radar mode, ie. the police can drive around with the radar operating, taking photos of speeders, but Victorian Police do not use this feature, using it only stationary.

    The road sensor pads talked about are there to trigger a radar to emit a burst of radiation. The cameras are aimed at the pads.

    This is so that only one car can trigger the radar at a time making them more accurate and less open to dispute. These pads aren't used with the mobile speed camera cars, only fixed cameras. They only work on the lane (pads) they are pointing at.

    Hope this helps.

    Ralph.
    On the internet, no one knows that you are only wearing a fez.

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger! buzzedmi16's Avatar
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    okey doke went looking high and low and came up with the answers.. for current speed cameras, in aus by the looks of it, go it all from this web site
    <a href="http://www.roadsense.com.au/speedcameras.html" target="_blank">Road Sense</a>

    Identification is pretty easy really. The cameras have a large greyish white box mounted on a pole and generally separately on another pole a flash unit.

    The main control unit contains the data logic equipment, a multi lens digital camera and a modem for transmitting the digital photos.

    For speed detection there are three piezo sensors embedded in the road surface for each lane of traffic. In appearance these sensors are not dissimilar to the current detection strips for traffic lights. The give away is that they are located just past the camera box, within easy shot.

    The unit is basically maintenance free, no radar to calibrate, no laser lens to align. The infringement photos and data are transmitted to the processing bureau - a hands off operation. They have automatic scanning equipment which can read the number plate, identify the registered owner and send an infringement notice in the mail. It is therefore entirely possible that you will receive an infringement notice in the mail that has never been seen by any person other than yourself.

    Due to the totally human free nature of this system it is a fantastic revenue raiser - all at much lower cost than a manned unit with manual infringement processing.

    To test the equipment I accessed a timing system which consists of two rubber hoses and a digital timing system commonly used in motorsport events.

    For the first test, I found that by driving the front wheels over the strips at an angle (as in changing lanes) there are marked differences in the readings. These vary from very minor differences at small angles of attack to quite large differences at big angles of attack.

    The second test I carried out is to let the pressure in one tyre down to 5 psi and have the other tyre at 40 psi, a reasonable hot run tyre pressure. Once again I got marked differences in the readings. Not as dramatic as those found with angles of attack, but certainly enough to make any reading suspect to within 20%.

    The third test was to place a 20 mm thick piece of wood (to simulate a bump) either before, after or in between the strips. The effects were quite unpredictable and very difficult to repeat as very minor changes in speed, steering angle, acceleration and braking displayed dramatic differences in readings.

    The most radical differences I got are when I have one tyre contacting one strip at almost exactly the same time as I have the other wheel contacting the other strip ie; trip both almost simultaneously. Several times I have seen timing which would equate to over 100 kph at less than 10 kph indicated speed. This is easily achieved at what I would consider normal lane change angles.

    I have asked the RTA to provide expansion and contraction rates of asphalt over the typical temperature ranges you see in Sydney in a 12 month period. This has not yet arrived, but in a number of articles I have read they typically quote numbers from -2.1% (-3 degrees Celsius) to +3.6% (+62 degrees Celsius). Remembering that these are tarmac temperatures, not ambient air temperatures So if the amphometer was calibrated to read accurately at +3.6% for 60 KPH it would read 63.5 kph at -2.1%.

    I am aware that the Condor equipment used in NSW has 3 sensors located in the road surface and I assume that some form of comparison is carried out between the 2 readings thus obtained. I am unsure as to whether they may also have some form of control system logic which may overcome a number of these types of issues but that aside, and based on the above testing, I would have to say they are quite capable of giving inaccurate readings, just as any other form of speed measurement.

    I have also contacted the manufacturer of the equipment, Poltech, and requested data on accuracy of their equipment. They have refused citing "commercial" agreement restrictions. (Their email responses available.) It would thus seem likely that the Governments they have sold equipment to do not want the information becoming available to the general public.

    Defense.

    The very first suggestion to anyone receiving an infringement would be to request a photo.
    Many times, once the photo is seen by someone it becomes obvious that the infringement notice is invalid.
    The most common is multiple vehicles in one lane and lane changing over the strip.
    This makes the accuracy of the piezo sensors suspect in this type of situation.
    I believe that a vehicle not contacting the strips at right angles is also an issue, due to the testing processes I have carried out.

    Even more credence is given to this by Poltech's refusal to provide accuracy data for these circumstances.

    Once rubber strip amphometers were believed to be 100% accurate, this was disproved
    Once radar was believed to be 100% accurate, this was disproved
    Then laser was believed to be 100% accurate, this was also disproved
    Now it is time to prove embedded piezo sensor are also just as inaccurate.
    Buzzed 405...Got a problem?

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! PUG309's Avatar
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    Woot, yeah, you go girl dance

    Yeah I was going to say that contrary to popular belief that traffic lights and speed cameras are activaited via touch pads this is not the case. Wires put in to small trenches (which you can see as being the rectangular shapes) emit an electromagnetic field or something and disturbances in the force...whoops i mean field are registered by a control unit and the info sent to a main data centre for statistics (one is located in Sydney, I went there once. Lots of TV's and lights woooooo).

    Damn inaccurate speed measuring devices, I wonder if there is such thing as a phobia of speed cameras snail
    Daniel Djuracic

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  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! AlsPug504's Avatar
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    The new red light speed cameras work in both away and towards on small intersections. On larger ones they dont because they do not face oncoming traffic.

    The road sign mounted units like the one in melbourne only operate in one direction. Which will be dependant on which way they face.

    I know that they dont use infa-red flash!

    Some of the digital cameras have extremly high resolution like the road sign type operated on melbournes fwys and tunnels. So they dont use a flash!

    Most of these cameras to those who know what to look for stick out like dogs whatits so once found there is no risk of repeat business!
    quote<strong>
    The very first suggestion to anyone receiving an infringement would be to request a photo.
    Many times, once the photo is seen by someone it becomes obvious that the infringement notice is invalid.
    The most common is multiple vehicles in one lane and lane changing over the strip.
    This makes the accuracy of the piezo sensors suspect in this type of situation.
    I believe that a vehicle not contacting the strips at right angles is also an issue, due to the testing processes I have carried out. </strong>

    Do you work for the Nabbers? or Civic compliance?
    you say you tested them?

    I thought multi lane problem was solved because there is one pizeo and one camera per lane? I also notice when I got ALL the data from the FOI that the data recorder takes which lane the trigger event occured on.

    quote<strong>Even more credence is given to this by Poltech's refusal to provide accuracy data for these circumstances.</strong>

    If Poltech dont have clue being the designers, who does?

    "Pizeos" Are as near as I can tell work much like a hall effect sensor. The Car is the Iron rotor and the wire in the road is the winding in which a current is induced when your car passes over them!



    Als

    <small>[ 08 October 2003, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: AlsPug504 ]</small>

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger!
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    if you look closely on the western ring road in melbourne, some cash cameras are mounted behind overhead sign boards and are impossible to see while travelling towards then, same with someoverhead walkways etc, if you keep an eye out on the opposite lane you can see them for the return journey

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger! AlsPug504's Avatar
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    The cameras on the Fwys can be seen because as you approach you can see the pizeos on the road beyond the camera sign board. Thats if your eye are good! They are tell tales signs of the new cameras. If you havent travel over them you have time to so down!

    Als wink

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! buzzedmi16's Avatar
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    Nah I didn't do the test, I got it all from a website, as I stated on the top of the post. I know for a fact that they do use infra-red flashes here.. It is the only safe way they have found to use a flash at night when your driving.. ie. your driving along in the dark, cant see anything, and all of a sudden there is this huge big bright light, scares the shit outta ya, you crash, you sue....
    SO they came up with the infra red flash boxes...
    And nah I dont work for the nabbers, but doing a forensic science degree i get to work near them, talk to them, and find out useful info...
    Buzzed 405...Got a problem?

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Hmm...interesting...

    Volunteers Wanted:

    To test the points discussed above.

    Procedures:
    1.
    a_drink
    2. Locate the target (fixed) speed camera(s)
    3. During quite early morning hours, approach the target camera, with number plates removed.
    4. Speed over the camera on the side it is mounted. If it flashes, continue to step 5, If not, terminate experiment.
    5. U-Turn and speed over camera in opposite direction. If it flashes the we know it works on both directions.
    6. Replace number plate.

    evil whip mallet cheers!

  20. #20
    Fellow Frogger! buzzedmi16's Avatar
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    I'll do it.. I just need to borrow someones car...
    Buzzed 405...Got a problem?

  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! MY 4's Avatar
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    rc968:
    Hmm...interesting...

    Volunteers Wanted:

    To test the points discussed above.

    Procedures:
    1.
    a_drink
    2. Locate the target (fixed) speed camera(s)
    3. During quite early morning hours, approach the target camera, with number plates removed.
    4. Speed over the camera on the side it is mounted. If it flashes, continue to step 5, If not, terminate experiment.
    5. U-Turn and speed over camera in opposite direction. If it flashes the we know it works on both directions.
    6. Replace number plate.

    evil whip mallet cheers!
    Eeehhmm. (*clears throat*)

    Yes - as embarrasing as this post is about to become blush
    Derek mentioned the possibilties of 'MY 4' - ALLEGEDLEY testing this theory. And ah, ya. I think It ah, how do you say...works both ways?

    Hm. i'm now scraping and scavenging for demerit points - if anyone has some they'd like to throw my way? That'd be greattttttt.t

    Yes the above quotation works fine, if you follow steps 3 & 6, i.e. removing any number plates. Please do not try this with them on. I can vouch that it's not a pleasant experience both mentally, physically and/or financially.

    Right Mr.Wallet? Right.

    G'nite. I'm going to go earn some money
    mallet

    Hang on, that comment sounds a little misleading, like i am some sort of man-whore or something. oops. I am not. And Derek - don't ask me if i'd like to swing your way.

    wink Cya!
    ~Dave Power` [MY 4] :

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  22. #22
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Testing is safe if you cover up the window through which the camera photographs the car...

  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Ray Bell:
    Testing is safe if you cover up the window through which the camera photographs the car...
    Heh...that has also been suggested to me before by my mates...to which I can't help thinking that the speed cameras seem to have copped very little vandalism, there are graffity on signs, walls, and all those impossible to get to places, and I have never seen any on speed cameras...

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts Poo-Go's Avatar
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    Hello all,

    All I can comment on this is that yes, they do use some sort of touch pad, some do use infra-red flashes, and yes, there are now (and have been for about 1 year) 3 cameras in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. The exact locations of these cameras within the tunnel I don't know. They are all infra red, as are the ones in the Eastern Distributor.

    Sometimes 2 cameras are arranged in the same place in opposite directions, hence why there are signs both ways.

    JG.
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  25. #25
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Out on the 2-lane highways the signs are showing in both directions with just one camera...

    Examples are:

    Bottom of River Lett Hill, near Lithgow.

    New Italy on the Pacific Hwy.

    Just north of Kew on the Pacific Hwy.

    About 10kms south of Kempsey on the Pacific Hwy.\

    Woodburn on the Pacific Hwy.

    Well, you get the picture... there's plenty of them!

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