Centre for Road Safety

National standards in enforcement camera calibration

Enforcement camera systems, such as fixed speed cameras and red-light speed cameras, make drivers slow down and help reduce the road toll. The calibration of NSW enforcement camera systems is conducted in consultation with the National Measurements Institute and meets National Association of Testing Authorities guidelines.

What do the enforcement cameras record?

When a vehicle is detected speeding or going through a red light, a digital image of the vehicle is recorded, as well as information about the offence. The image clearly shows the type, make and number plate of the vehicle. Digital images also include date, time and location of the offence including the lane in which the vehicle was travelling, direction of travel, detected speed and speed limit applying to the road, or red-light time, and other security and integrity parameters.

How do I know that information recorded is secure?

The original recorded images are stored electronically. A security indicator is also produced when the file is written to prevent tampering with the image. When the image is electronically transferred, all images and relevant information (such as time, date and location) are encrypted.
The original image forms the basis of the evidence produced in court. By law, photographs can be tendered as evidence, together with evidentiary certificates signed by an expert.

What is the testing procedure to ensure camera accuracy and reliability?

Certification and calibration of each camera system is carried out in accordance with legislated requirements in following the manufacturer’s recommended method and specifications. The digital speed camera systems (including the digital camera recording device and the associated speed-measuring device) used in NSW undergo a comprehensive testing procedure to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Are the camera systems inspected in line with current legal requirements?

Speed cameras are tested for accuracy regularly as required under NSW laws using instruments that meet national legal requirements.

Cameras in NSW are subject to calibration and accuracy certification procedures for the approved traffic enforcement device, at least every 12 months, in accordance with Section 137 of the Road Transport Act 2013 and Clause 35 of the Road Transport (General) Regulation 2013.

There is also a requirement to perform a certification of the camera-recording device at 90-day intervals, in accordance with section 138 of the Road Transport Act 2013 and Clause 35 of the Road Transport (General) Regulation 2013. Inspections are also conducted after maintenance or repair of either camera recording and/or speed measurement devices.

Is the camera calibration conducted by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia?

The Compliance Operations Branch of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is an accredited laboratory under the NATA Accreditation Scheme. Cameras are tested and calibrated in accordance with the manufacturers' test methods.

Is calibration conducted traceable to the National Measurement Act?

All measurements taken by the cameras in NSW are traceable to national standards.

The RMS time server is synchronised every 30 minutes using the Network Time Protocol to the National Measurement Institute’s time service. The National Measurement Institute’s time service provides the time standard for all of Australia.

RMS has procedures in place where a central computer confirms the synchronisation of the enforcement camera time against Telstra time every 30 minutes and alerts if this synchronisation does not exist.

What can I do if I receive a penalty notice for a camera detected offence?

You can pay the fine, request a review or elect to have the matter heard in court. For more information telephone the State Debt Recovery Office on 1300 138 118 or visit the State Debt Recovery Office website.

More information

For further details relating to the calibration and certification of RMS enforcement cameras, contact RMS Camera Enquiry Line on 1300 782 230 or email Compliance.Operations@rms.nsw.gov.au