There is a persistent urban myth among Australian motorists in rural areas that police use conniving, sneaky tactics to catch speeding drivers, even going so far as to camouflage themselves within roadside flora.
Well, a video posted to social media confirms the urban legend remains true.
“This is what it's come too. Cops hiding in the bushes with a speed camera to make some money,” says the caption of the video, below, which was uploaded to Facebook.
Even knowing what you are looking for, it is difficult at first to identify the officer in question, who, along with his radar, is hidden behind a bush on the side of the road.
While the footage is bound to get your blood boiling, it’s likely what the officer is doing is perfectly legal.
This is because Queensland Police can only use radar guns at pre-determined locations, all of which are publicly listed.
According to the Queensland Government, there are “up to 3000 mobile speed camera sites throughout Queensland”.
These locations are selected according to a “strict criteria, including an assessment of speed related crash history,” states the Queensland Government’s own website.
“Other reasons to establish a mobile speed camera site include a known high-risk of speeding, in school zones, or at roadwork sites where the road workers health and safety may be at risk.”
According to the Facebook user that posted the video, the footage was taken “near the Hinze Dam boat ramp”.
The western boat ramp at Hinze Dam is only accessible via Nerang Murwillumbah Road, which is regarded as a local black spot for fatalities.
According to the list, there are eight locations police can use to set up a mobile speed camera on the Nerang Murwillumbah Road, with three located in Advancetown, three in Numinbah Valley, and a pair in Natural Bridge.
The Queensland Government website states that officers operating hand held speed cameras can position themselves at an approved location at any time of day or night, on any day of the year, wearing either their uniform or plain clothes.
In the video it appears that the hand-held radar being used by the officer is mounted on a tripod, which is also perfectly legal.
A similar operation by Victorian police officers was exposed on an episode of Highway Patrol in 2017.