WA Police have surprisingly supported unauthorised signs warning motorists of speed cameras ahead.
But Town of Cambridge said the signs breach council by-laws, after an imitation police sign appeared on West Coast Highway in City Beach last week, alerting drivers to an upcoming speed camera.
Police Media spokesman Sam Dinnison said WA Police did not have an issue with the signs being used to alert motorists to the presence of a speed camera.
“If it makes a speeding motorist slow down, then that is a good thing,” he said.
The unauthorised speed camera warnings have been appearing around Perth more frequently, thanks to the rise of online anti-speed camera group Revenue Raiser Resistance (RRR).
The group posts to Facebook daily, warning motorists of camera locations, as well as posting ‘appreciation’ photos of members holding or placing signs on the side of the road.
An anonymous spokesperson from the group said its motive was to reform the road safety system currently in place in WA.
“RRR believes that speed cameras do not improve road safety,” the spokesperson said.
“We would like our Government and WA Police to shift their focus to other areas such as driver education, defensive driving courses, improvement of our roads, sensible speed limits and an increase in visible police presence on our roads.”
WA Police said it would only be an offence if a person holding a sign was creating an issue for motorists.
“Some years ago we had a couple of incidents where people wearing masks jumped out from behind trees on to the road with a sign and that scared some motorists,” Mr Dinnison said.
He said it was an offence to obstruct a speed camera, but there had been no reports to his knowledge of that behaviour.
However, the Revenue Raiser Resistance spokesperson said the group had experienced some negative run-ins with police.
“Some police officers can be extremely supportive and stop to encourage us to share their view on road safety,” they said.
“But we have also had officers confiscating our signs and moving RRR protesters on.
“Overall, the majority of our interaction with WA Police has been very positive.”
Cambridge chief executive Jason Buckley said last week’s sign placement contravened council by-laws.
“Permits must be obtained to place any signage (including temporary signs) on local government property, or property under local government management including roadsides, thoroughfares and verges,” he said.
“An infringement can be issued to those persons that have not obtained a permit, as they are in breach of the Town of Cambridge Local Government and Public Property Local Law 2016.
“In addition, any sign can be impounded under section 3.39 of the Local Government Act 1995.”
RRR said it contacted new Police Minister Michelle Roberts in March to discuss the usage of speed cameras.
“Many people criticised Liza Harvey and her work as police minister and now after the election, we wanted to introduce our motive and stance to the new police minister Michelle Roberts,” the spokesperson said.
“We hoped to hear from her and debate the usage of hidden speed cameras in WA, amongst other critical issues we outlined in the letter.
“Unfortunately, two months later and we have still not received a reply or heard anything from her.”
Nevertheless, the group said that would not stop them.
“In our eyes, police are just enforcing the law,” the spokesperson said.
“We will continue until either our goals are achieved or the law surrounding ‘protestors’ rights’ changes for the worst.”