Plans to increase mobile speed cameras under scrutiny

A NSW parliamentary committee will inquire into recent changes to the NSW mobile speed camera program including getting rid of warning signs and using unmarked cars.

John Graham

It will also look at plans to ramp up the use of mobile speed cameras despite them raking in increasing amounts of money from motorists.

As well, the plan will look at the role of private companies involved in delivering services as the government considers tenders to broaden the program.

Speed cameras v direct enforcement

The Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety says it wants to examine how the revenue from fines is being used to fund road safety initiatives and finance the Community Road Safety Fund.

The committee will investigate the balance between speed cameras and direct enforcement by police, committee chair Lou Amato says.

“This inquiry will help us to gain insights into how mobile speed camera enforcement protects road users” he said.

“We want to know what the community thinks about these changes in terms of how they promote and improve road safety.

“We also want to consider how the revenue from speeding fines is spent as part of the ongoing funding of safety initiatives.”

Upping hours of use

The state government is rolling out a suite of changes to the program including the use of unmarked cars since January and the removal of warning signs since last November.

The final change will see an increase in the hours that mobile speed cameras are used from 7,000 to 21,000 per month from the second half of the year, an estimates committee heard in March.

Tenders for the additional hours had closed and were being reviewed, the committee heard.

Revenue raising

Opposition roads spokesman John Graham says the program has raised almost $24 million since November and revenue generated via mobile speed camera fines is increasing since the changes were introduced.

He says $4.75 million raised in April and $6.33 million in March.

“There are concerns about the community reaction to the program and we’re really keen to see the evidence about the safety and revenue,” he told Government News.

The government has defended the mobile speed camera program saying it delivers road safety benefits.

Transport for NSW has signed a $112 million, five-year contract with Redflex Traffic systems to deliver the current mobile speed camera program to 2023.

Submissions can be made to the committee until July 9.

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11 thoughts on “Plans to increase mobile speed cameras under scrutiny

  1. Not to mention all the 40 and 50 zones that have been introduced, the state Government will be rich rich rich Rich Rich.

  2. I have not had a motor vehicle accident in more than 20 years. I have been fined twice in the last six months, once in Wollongong and once in the Blue Mountains. At this rate I am at risk of losing my license before the end of the year. Removing warning signs from undercover speed camera’s will put at risk the employment of many people across the state who otherwise would NOT have contributed to the road toll or decreased road safety. With the licenses of drivers with similar records to mine being put at risk with no apparent correlation to improved road safety, this is exactly the type of state government action that would sway my vote at the next election.

    1. Just a cash grab. The cameras may take a photo as a lagging indicator to a motorist that could be involved in a speed related fatality. More importantly slower drivers inadvertently increases driver fatigue and lowers concentration to the primary goal. Arriving safe.

  3. Booking drivers for 0-10 over is ridiculous, road designers have always built in safety factors, speed limits are set to at least 10km/h below design speed eg. NSW M7 was built with a design speed of 110km/h, speed limit set at 100km/h the expectation being that travel speeds would be between 100 & 110. Local roads much the same. Motorways (therefore not all of the dual carriageways with 110km/h) with 110km/h limit are generally built to a much higher design speed, again designers expect traffic to travel at 110 to 130km/h. This obsession with speed limit enforcement to such low tolerances is rare in most other countries, this is a very “Australian only” thing to obsessively focus on one element of road safety.

    Australians, especially drivers in VIC and SA (and soon NSW) pay way more per capita per year in speeding fines compared to drivers of say Europe, UK, USA and Canada, not just a bit more but TEN TIMES more. Please do some research, I looked at 2016/2017 fin. year as the information was more attainable.

  4. Mobile speed cameras should also have noise measurement equipment to capture number plates for future testing. Noise from motorbikes with exhaust baffles removed and loud turbo exhausts are making living near main roads untenable and unhealthy with “75dba plus” not uncommon. Double glazing may be the only expensive option in DA’s for new residential areas.

  5. I have been driving for over 30 yrs and at one time I had only 3 points left on my licence.

    The speed limit is the MAXIMUM speed allowed on that section of road, if you exceed it you’re breaking the law. As a variation of the saying goes ” do the crime then pay the fine” .

    I fully support not notifying the location of sipped cameras. If I do the wrong thing then I will not complain if I lose points and get fined. I won’t like it but that’s the law.

    Slow down !!

  6. Speed cameras were originally designed to be a direct deterrent in road accident black spots. Removing the warning signs negates their value as a direct deterrent. Placing them in locations with no history of accidents is extremely hard to justify other than as a cynical method of revenue raising.

    Fining and penalising people for very minor level speeding offences (less than 10kmh over speed limit) will result in many low income workers facing financial hardship and potentially losing their job if they can no longer commute (if they accrue too many demerits points in any 3 year period and lose their license) – often when they have no previous history of serious accidents or traffic infringements. Many will have no idea they committed an offence until they receive the infringement notice in the mail 3 weeks later, meaning it will have no effect on their driving habits for at least 3 weeks.

    This new approach was justified by Andrew Constance after a catastrophic and tragic accident in which four children were killed. I would speculate that while speed played a factor in this accident – the driver’s intoxicated state (Samuel Davidson was both drunk and drugged at the time of the accident) was the root cause. I think that imposing harsher penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a far more sensible and practical approach to minimising these types of accidents. Furthermore the obviousness of this conclusion underlines the disingenuous way in which Mr Constance used the accident as his justification for removing warning signs on mobile speed traps and greatly increasing their numbers.

    In my opinion a better and more sincere response to this tragic accident would have been to greatly increase random breath testing for alcohol and drugs. However this would cost money and yield far less revenue.

    In conclusion I think that the general public is justified in believing that this new approach by Mr Constance is indeed nothing more than a cynical revenue raising exercise with no material benefits to road safety and should be reversed immediately.

  7. Keep the demerit points abs ditch the fines – when that happens I’ll believe it’s about road safety…

  8. Many main roads in NSW have a 50 limit which should be increased to 60. Alternately a warning only should be given for 0-8 klms over the limit for those roads which have a limit of 50 and over. As well as that bring back the warning signs for mobile speed cameras because this has a definite effect on driver’s behaviour.

  9. Speed cameras are for revenue raising.
    They don’t impact you until 3 to 6 weeks later.
    They almost always are placed where accidents rarely occur.
    And the Government always pushes the lie, They save lives. Since these cameras can’t detect drunk, drugged, overtired and idiot drivers They don’t do much to make roads safer.
    It’s merely the government pretending to do something while raking in the money.

  10. What’s better for the government? Allowing inexperienced motorists to break road rules and increase the revenue collected by increased surveillance methods, or increasing the education of all motorists so everyone drives properly? NSW has one of the simplest tests for car drivers, which means a few weeks of learning how to pass those tests is all that’s needed to receive the right to operate a deadly weapon without direct supervision. This state needs to start teaching people to drive at the signposted speed limits instead of scaring them into keeping a constant eye on their speedometer.
    Poorly educated drivers are simply too slow to make decisions and most often too slow to react to what’s happening around them. It’s incredibly sad how so many motorists go onto the freeway with absolutely no idea how to drive on it. Road safety advocates have been pushing the NSW Government for the last ten years to overhaul the whole driver education thing, especially with consideration to
    (a) prohibiting learners from being accompanied by anyone other than a professional driver or qualified driving school instructor, and
    (b) prohibiting learners from driving in speed zones 90kmh and above unless they have a qualified and experienced chaperone.
    Fearmongering, overt surveillance and reducing of speed limits only cause greater levels of traffic congestion, motorist frustration and ultimately more death, injury and financial impact on the community. Education is the key!

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