Melaleuca Media
Shut your trap, officer

Urban myth comes true in this gem of a tale of the speed cops getting some of their own medicine. Versions published in The Sunday Age and - with a pedestrian rewrite - in The Courier-Mail.

by Phil Dickie and Susan Brown

It sounds too much like urban myth to be true, but embarrassed Queensland police last week admitted that one of their speed traps had recently been shut down by a Queensland government Workplace Health and Safety inspector.

The incident was confirmed by the Queensland Government, although they continue to protect their inspector from folk hero status by declining to release his identity.

On the eventual official police account, two officers doing a “a random road watch” on the main highway from Brisbane to Toowoomba on June 30 had been asked by a Workplace Health and Safety Inspector to stop using a laser speed gun “because they had not completed a written site safety plan”.

The officers didn't think they needed one, but they had “complied with the request” the spokesperson said.

Industrial Relations Minister, Gordon Nuttall's office said the inspector had come upon the two officers operating their radar from a police car parked on the median strip of a busy double lane section of highway, waving down offenders and running all over the road to issue tickets.

The safety inspector could have issued a ticket of his own, but didn't. Mr Nuttall's office stressed that the inspector had not been speeding at the time.

A police inspector, who confirmed a longstanding requirement for all places of employment including police speed traps to have site safety plans, said the two officers had checked the safety inspector's credentials very carefully.