Police cleared over speed camera operator caution

Tim Edmunds and Grant TaylorAlbany Advertiser
Inquiry finds officers acted “appropriately” by issuing caution to speed camera operator
Camera IconInquiry finds officers acted “appropriately” by issuing caution to speed camera operator

Two Great Southern police officers who chose not to infringe a speed camera operator caught travelling 31km/h over the speed limit on a double-demerit period last year have been cleared of any wrong doing.

Revealing the results of an independent inquiry into the officer’s conduct, Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said today the two officers “appropriately” issued a caution due to roadworks signs not being applied properly on the stretch of highway.

“The investigation has determined that the caution was appropriately issued because of the circumstances of the Mainroads signs that weren’t applied in the way that would prove that particular incident resulting in an infringement,” he said.

“That was the conclusion of the investigation was that the signs were not appropriately put in place.”

The Albany Advertiser revealed in December the camera operator was issued a caution when pulled over by the two officers on Albany Highway on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in September, a decision which was the subject of internal review.

The incident happened in roadworks where the speed had been reduced from 110km/h to 80km/h and the driver was clocked at 111km/h.

The camera operator would have lost his licence had he been booked, and police used their “discretionary powers” to issue a caution, allegedly amid concerns the roadworks signs were confusing.

Although there were no workers on the road at the time, the signs had been left in place to reduce the risk of flying stones caused by the unstable surface and the lines were not marked.

Commissioner Dawson admitted in December the decision by the officers was ‘troubling” but today said he had the “absolute confidence” they had done the right thing and there was an expectation the law would be applied regardless of who was driving.

“So the officers, we have thoroughly reviewed this, have acted absolutely appropriately and because of the circumstances their actions are not at all the subject of any criticism or further investigation,” he said.

“We have gone so far to in fact examine those particular officers in the way they conduct their business and they both have issued infringements to full sworn officers in other circumstances.

“They are not any officers who should be at all be questioned about the probity and the conduct in which they do their important work in enforcing the law.”

Commissioner Dawson a second part of the investigation however remained ongoing with “some 30” infringements issued to motorists in the same circumstances being reviewed.

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