FINE MESS: Faye Livock, of Ocean Shores, with some of the seven fines she has received since March, five of them in the last 28
FINE MESS: Faye Livock, of Ocean Shores, with some of the seven fines she has received since March, five of them in the last 28

Highway robbery

AS many as 100 North Coast motorists may have been ripped off and forced to cop thousands of dollars in speeding fines because of a dodgy speed camera. Motorists believe the speed camera at the bottom of St Helena Hill could be over-reading by as much as 15 kilometres per hour. The RTA has been called on to test the accuracy of the camera, and if a flaw is found angry motorists will demand their fines be waived and the points on their licences reinstated. The possibility of a class action civil matter is also being discussed by some drivers. One affected resident is disability support worker Faye Livock, of Ocean Shores. Since the end of March, Mrs Livock has received seven fines from the camera. She has been forced to pay about $1600 and has lost so many points from her licence she might lose it. Mrs Livock says she received the first two fines right after the camera was first installed, and paid them without questioning their accuracy. After this Mrs Livock said she became very conscious of the camera, and it came as a shock when, week after week as she collected her mail, more fines arrived. "All along I've had this feeling something had to be wrong," she said. Coorabell resident Ron Fidler, who has received two infringement notices since the camera began operating, has compiled a list of 60 people who have received tickets and believe they were not exceeding the 60km/h limit. "I was determined to get my five cents out of this but now it looks like the whole community is affected," said Mr Fidler, who went public with his suspicions about the camera last week. Ballina MP Don Page says his phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from people complaining about the camera. "There are far too many people who spoke to us independently before it became a public issue," he said. Last week he contacted Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal requesting the camera's accuracy be checked. An RTA spokesperson yesterday said the speed camera on St Helena Hill was installed in 2006 following a number of crashes. "The accuracy of every speed camera in NSW is tested at least 15 times each year," the spokesperson said. "All camera speed measurement systems in NSW are 'fail safe' they shut down rather than take an incorrect reading." n If you've received a ticket from the St Helena Hill camera and are concerned, contact Mr Fidler on 6684 7535.



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