A “robot” speed camera – painted bright yellow and designed to look like construction equipment – will start issuing speeding tickets in Queensland from next month after a two-year trial. 

The portable speed camera is designed to be used at roadworks zones and moved around the state as required.  

Because of the rugged terrain on work sites, it has small earthmover tracks to negotiate dirt and rubble before it is put into position

Once in position, the “robot” speed camera is set level and calibrated, at which point it can nab speeding drivers. 

Above: A mobile phone detection camera in NSW. Photo by Joshua Dowling.

Either by design or coincidence, Queensland’s “robot” speed camera looks like a piece of construction equipment, so it will blend in with other machinery in roadworks zones. 

Similarly, portable NSW mobile phone detection cameras (pictured above) look like roadworks lighting towers.

Authorities say they hope motorists will slow down when passing through all roadworks – not just ones where the “robot” speed camera is installed – because they won’t know at a glance whether machinery on the side of the road is a speed camera or construction equipment. 

Above: A speed camera car in NSW. Photo by Joshua Dowling.

Speed camera guidelines vary from state to state. 

Victoria uses unmarked speed camera cars, and fixed speed cameras in the state do not have warning signs.

Queensland has partially marked speed camera cars and no warning signs for fixed speed cameras.

NSW has warning signs for speed camera cars and fixed speed cameras – because the threshold for issuing tickets is now much lower, and the record number of fines issued when the cars were unmarked failed to reduce the road toll.

In NSW, at the time, speed camera fines increased 10-fold and yet the road toll still did not come down.

Safety experts and frontline police say the biggest contributors to the road toll are not mums and dads getting busted 10kmh over the limit.

Rather, experts say, by far the biggest contributors to road fatalities (more than half) are drug-affected or drunk drivers, those who don’t wear seatbelts, unlicensed or suspended drivers, and drivers of unregistered or unroadworthy cars.

Above: A mobile phone detection camera in NSW. Photo by Joshua Dowling.

Most states in Australia now have mobile phone detection cameras.

Some mobile phone detection cameras (such as those in Queensland) have also been configured to detect seatbelt use.