Locals’ outrage over speed camera known as the ‘Frankston flasher’ racking up fines of $20,000 A DAY
A speed camera is causing locals to live in fear as it collects fines worth a total of more than $20,000 every day – most of them for drivers who drove no faster than 50 km/h.
A group of concerned locals, led by a mother from Mount Eliza, have launched their campaign against the rogue speed camera dubbed the ‘Frankston Speed Camera’.
They claim the camera is ‘getting out of hand’ and rounding up people who have done nothing wrong at the intersection of Nepean Highway and Davey Street in Frankston in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs.
Some members of the group claim that the camera has flashed at them when they are much less than the speed limit, or even come to a complete stop.
The municipality lowered the speed limit along the stretch of highway from 50 km/h to 40 km/h to allow for a ‘temporary outdoor eating zone’ along the road in October 2021.
The camera has made more than $370,000 since it was modified in May to enforce the new limit. More than 830 people have added their fines to the local population census.
When the speed limits are changed, speed cameras are briefly disabled and reconfigured.
According to the office of Victorian Road Safety Secretary Ben Carroll, signs were posted to inform drivers of the new speed limit.
The Frankston Flasher is located at the intersection of Davey Street and the Nepean Highway in Melbourne (pictured), where locals say it has been wreaking havoc since it was turned on
Maria Davoren (pictured) has taken matters into her own hands and keeps track of how much money the locals have fined as a result of the camera
Six flashing highway signs designed to warn motorists that the 40kph zone extends from the restaurant strip to the intersection with Davey Street have yet to be connected to power, locals say.
According to Mr. Carroll’s office, the boards will be connected to power in the coming weeks.
Maria Davoren, who founded the group and a database of complaints against the camera, has since appeared in the media to publicize her campaign.
Mount Eliza’s mother wanted to make sure those in her group didn’t come across as “hoons.”
“It’s great that this is getting attention as our numbers grow.
“I founded the group on May 30, and since then I’ve counted nearly $400,000 in fines. This figure is very conservative,” she told the Daily Mail Australia.
The electronic signs warning drivers that they are still in a 40 km/h zone (photo) are not yet connected to the power
The camera haphazardly books both commuters and celebrities – Gamble Breaux, star of Real Housewives of Melbourne, was caught three times by the speed camera
Locals and travelers alike use the group to share their experiences with the Frankston Flasher.
Real Housewives of Melbourne star Gamble Breaux is among those who posted in the group, claiming the camera also flashed her three times.
“The Frankston Flasher camera has gotten out of hand, and that’s coming from someone who’s been doing reality TV for 10 years.
“I became aware of Frankston’s Camera Shark … flashing, waiting at the intersection on the other side of the road,” she wrote.
Ms Breaux’s tirade came after she was booked multiple times by the camera, calling the speed camera a ‘revenue shark’
She said she drove slowly across the intersection during rush hour while other drivers chased her and was still fined.
Ms Breaux said she was “shocked” by the flashes.
“The flashes go off almost non-stop like a strobe,” she said.
Other members of the group complain that they have traveled the highway for years, but are only now being fined for a new speed zone they knew nothing about.
‘I have 3 fines in 11 days. I have traveled through that area for 20 years and have not received a single fine,” said one local, as more locals added that they “feel so wronged”.
Drivers claim they are unsure whether the 40 km/h speed limit extends to the intersection with Davey Street from the restaurant areas.
They say that by the time they find out through the flash of the camera, it will already be too late.
The six signs warning motorists that the 40 km/h route passes through the intersection have yet to be connected to the electricity grid.
Drivers also claimed that they are not sure if the lower speed limit at the intersection applies and that they will not be notified until it is too late.
On 3AW radio on Wednesday, Road Safety Commissioner Neville Taylor said he would launch an investigation into how “reasonable” the new speed zone is for drivers in response to the many complaints.
“What’s critical for road safety cameras to effectively change behaviors such as speed or distraction is that people need to have confidence in them,” Mr Taylor said.
“If people feel like it’s not fair, it really matters, so that’s really important to me.”