Hidden speed cameras are still being deployed in South Africa, and are likely to catch motorists who exceed the speed limit.
This is according to Howard Dembovsky, chairman of Justice Project South Africa.
While there have not been any major developments in camera technology or camouflaging techniques, law enforcement has not ceased the practice.
“There is a limit to just how creative one can get in camouflaging a speed camera and since these things are generally not that big or obvious, oftentimes it isn’t even necessary to actively hide them,” said Dembovsky.
He said that placing an automated radar speed camera near an Armco barrier, an advertising banner, or a tree is more than enough to hide it from motorists.
This is because speed measurements may be taken from up to 500 metres away, and at this distance is almost impossible for a human driver to see a camera.
“There really isn’t much need to hide them to any great extent, since most people don’t possess the vision capabilities that eagles do.”
Business as usual
Dembovsky said that speed camera deployments continue as normal across South Africa, both in manned and unmanned combinations.
The legality of hidden speed cameras in South Africa has been called into question several times in recent years – but the practice is legal according to experts.
Dembovsky has stated that the Technical Committee for Standards and Procedures does not mention the need for warning signs for the cameras.
There used to be a requirement that signs warning of speed prosecution by camera had to be displayed, but this is no longer the case.
Average speed limit prosecutions, however, do require information signs to be displayed.
Dembovsky added that the South African Bureau of Standards is reportedly circulating Draft South African Standard (DSS) relating to SANS 1795.
This relates to speed measuring equipment, for public enquiry within a period of 60 days from 23 October 2018, and Dembovsky said the JPSA will analyse the documents once they are furnished.
Images of how speed cameras are hidden are posted below.