We've all experienced that moment of dread: driving past a nondescript vehicle and wondering if it was a mobile speed camera. That fleeting moment when you're over the speed limit can lead to days of worry. Were you caught speeding? Was that a flash? How accurate is your speedometer? And most importantly, how can you find out if you've been caught? This is a common concern across every Australian state, from Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales, to South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The Waiting Game

After the moment of potential capture, the waiting begins. The time it takes for a speeding fine to reach you varies by state. In NSW, it can take up to 28 days, whereas in Tasmania, it's as quick as four days. But the question remains: is there a way to find out sooner if you've been ticketed?

The Search for Information

You might be tempted to search online for 'how to check if caught by speed camera VIC' or 'how to check if caught by speed camera NSW'. Unfortunately, most Australian states don't provide an online resource for this information. While you can contact the relevant department by phone, they typically don't offer an official means to check for speed camera tickets in advance.

Understanding the Technology - How Fixed Speed Cameras & Mobile Speed Cameras Work

States and territories use various technologies for speed detection, including fixed-speed cameras and mobile speed cameras. Fixed speed cameras are common in high-traffic areas, whereas mobile speed cameras in NSW and other states can be more discreet, often operated by non-police personnel in some states, like Victoria.

Speed cameras utilise radar, LIDAR, or laser technology to detect speeds. Interestingly, the latest technology allows cameras to capture images of vehicles before they even pass the camera. This means that a speed camera can catch you from the front, with no strict distance limit as long as the number plate is visible.

Camera Locations and Revenue

The locations of speed cameras vary by state, with some authorities providing online lists of fixed camera locations and potential mobile camera locations. While these locations are claimed to be chosen for safety reasons, there's a widespread belief that they are strategically placed for revenue generation, with enforcing speed limits via fines being a significant income source for many states.

Legal Considerations

Each Australian state has its own rules regarding speed limit tolerance and the fines associated. Most states adjust the detected speed to account for equipment inaccuracies. The fines and demerit points depend on how much you're over the limit, with severe violations leading to license suspensions.

Dealing with Demerit Points

In most states you have a limit of up to 12 demerit points, with each traffic violation costing you a certain number depending on the severity of the offence. The status of your points can often be checked online through an account with your state's licensing authority, such as Service NSW.

Know the Road Rules & Stick to Speed Limits

While there's no straightforward way to check immediately if you've been caught by a speed camera in states like VIC, NSW, or SA, understanding the system, technology, and legalities can prepare you for what might come in the mail. And remember, the best way to avoid the anxiety of a speeding fine is to adhere to speed limits, ensuring your safety and that of others on the road.