Angry drivers join speed camera protest
By CHARLES WOOD
RON FIDLER and Bryce Houston are calling on drivers to join a protest convoy past the controversial St Helena speed camera.
The plan follows revelations the Pacific Highway unit ranks number eight on the State's top 20 speed camera revenue earners.
Figures from the Office of State Revenue show that in the financial year 2006-2007 the camera generated almost $1.2 million revenue. Only speed cameras in the Sydney metropolitan area earned more.
Mr Houston, a South Golden Beach resident who has received three infringement notices from the camera, believes the readings are incorrect and it should be shut down and replaced with another form of speed deterrent.
"It's robbing innocent people," he said.
Mr Houston has joined forces with Mr Fidler, of Coorabell, who is calling for expressions of interest in launching a class action against hundreds of infringement notices.
Mr Houston and Mr Fidler said they are disgruntled with State Member for Ballina Don Page's pledge to press for government intervention over the fines.
"If Don doesn't come to Don's party over this, then we'll go to him in protest," Mr Houston said.
Mr Page reported that his inquiries revealed the RTA had checked the camera five times between March 28 and July 2, when most of the claimed discrepancies came to light, and found it to be working accurately.
That prompted NSW Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal to confirm that more than 800 fines would stand.
But Mr Houston and Mr Fidler aren't convinced by the RTA's response. They want motorists to turn out in force on October 20 to stage a mass protest convoy past the St Helena speed camera, at no more than 60kmh.
"We invite people to meet at Ewingsdale Hall at high noon and then head up St Helena," they said.
Mr Houston has paid his first two infringement notices, but plans to fight the third in court.
Ballina man Glenn Massey is also going to court just five days after the planned mobile protest and is facing the possibility of losing his licence.
Mr Fidler continues to receive calls and letters from drivers who claim they've been unfairly fined.
He said when drivers from outside the area saw Ewingsdale on the infringement notice they often didn't realise it was the Byron Bay camera and simply paid the fine.
For information on the convoy or class action call Mr Houston on 6680 5824 or Mr Fidler on 6684 7535.