Serco Wins Traffic Camera Contract

A BRITISH company was yesterday awarded a $150 million contract to operate Victoria's controversial traffic camera system over seven years.

Police Minister Bob Cameron said Serco would take over the management of traffic camera services from Tenix Solutions at the end of October.

Despite several bungles, Tenix Solutions will still enforce traffic fines under a new contract worth $330 million over eight years.

Serco will be responsible for installing and maintaining speed and red-light cameras, including the placing of mobile cameras at locations decided by police.

All film mobile cameras will be replaced with improved technology - 11 megapixel digital cameras - over the next year for better image quality.

Mr Cameron said Serco had been warned that significant fines would be imposed for any traffic camera error that occurred, to eliminate the likelihood of breaches.

"We want to make sure that there is more tension in the system and that's why part of this contract there are penalties of up to $50,000 as a consequence of any human error," he said, while admitting there would always be human error in any system.

Tenix was heavily criticised in June last year after it was revealed that more than 1100 speeding tickets had been wrongly issued.

The company was given a six-figure fine and then forced to withdraw a further 72 speeding fines after another embarrassing processing error.

Serco's Australian chief executive, David Campbell, said the company was pleased to have won the contract.

"We will be drawing on our experience as the largest provider of traffic camera services in the United Kingdom," Mr Campbell said.

Serco planned to offer jobs to Tenix staff where possible.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby said the cameras played an important role in reducing the state's road toll and police would continue to use the cameras as an integral part of practices aimed at reducing speed.

"Reductions of speed is a good thing. It's one of the key killers on our roads," Assistant Commissioner Ashby said.

"The red-light cameras have also proven highly successful, not only in reducing speed through intersections but stopping people running red lights. They are reducing crashes in that context.

"Victoria Police will continue to assess high-risk locations and continue unapologetically to target the areas particularly where road trauma is likely to happen or has occurred previously."

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