NSW called back into road safety

The NSW Government will debate a proposal from NRMA Motoring and Services and the NSW Police Association on effective ways to increase road safety.

Both organisations are calling for 200 highway patrol officers to be recruited from 40 per cent of revenue from all traffic fines.

According to the organisations, the remaining 60 per cent of revenue should be invested back into roads and road safety education, each divided into 40 per cent and 20 per cent.

Officer recruitment would be funded with $110 million a year based on traffic fine revenue in 2009 and 2010.

According to the petition, existing police officers would not be diverted from the frontline, rather the extra 200 highway patrol officers would be in addition to the existing force numbers.

The forecast traffic fine revenue raised for this financial year is around $300 million.

NRMA President, Wendy Machin said the notion of revenue from fines going back into road safety has received strong community support.

“The most effective way to end the debate around the validity of speed cameras in NSW is to redirect all fines back into keeping people safe on our roads,” Ms Machin said.

She said NSW should direct revenue from fines into road safety because it is being done to “some extent” in other states.

Police Association of NSW president, Scott Weber said more visible presence of highway patrol officers on roads will stop speeding drivers and government policy needs to reflect that.

“Sending someone a ticket in the mail three weeks later is no way to prevent them from speeding,” Mr Weber said.

He said only a highly skilled highway patrol officer can crack down on speeding as well as other dangerous behaviours such as reckless driving, drink-driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

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