Huge change coming to speed cameras in New South Wales – as fine numbers skyrocket after government removed warning signs
- Warning signs for mobile speed cameras were removed in November last year
- Premier Dominic Perrottet says he is considering bringing the signs back
- Outrage has formed over the move which has seen speeding fines skyrocket
- The NRMA told NSW parliamentary committee move hadn’t made roads safer
Warning signs for mobile speed cameras could soon be brought back after the government’s controversial decision to remove them saw low-range speeding fines skyrocket.
New South Wales drivers have been slugged millions of dollars for being caught speeding less than 10km/h over the limit after the warning signs were taken down last November.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has now said he is looking into the issue which has caused outrage among the community with the NRMA arguing the move hasn’t made roads safer but has just caused motorists to disrespect the law.
Former roads minister Duncan Gay had pushed for warning signs to be visible to motorists with Mr Perrottet saying he had a ‘sensible perspective’ on things.
Warning signs for mobile speed cameras could soon be brought back to roads after the government’s controversial decision to remove them saw low-range speeding fines skyrocket
‘I appreciate his wisdom and counsel and I can assure you the NSW government is looking at it,’ Mr Perrottet told the Daily Telegraph.
Since the signs were removed last year, speeding ticket revenue for offences less than 10km/h over the limit has increased from $2.3 million in 2019/2020 financial year to $23.3 million in 2020/2021.
During Mr Gay’s time as roads minister between 2011 and 2017, he removed speed cameras he says ‘were not fulfilling a proper purpose’.
Earlier this week he told a NSW parliamentary committee on road safety ‘one of the best safety (incentives) is a marked police car with a copper in it’ and signposting cameras had a similar effect.
But highway patrol cars that ‘back up into the trees and hide behind billboards’ are ‘just wrong’.
‘Speed cameras are important, but they shouldn’t be there for entrapment,’ Mr Gay added.
The NSW government announced in November last year that the warning signs for mobile speed cameras would be removed, but in August announced fixed warning signs would be rolled out as a reminder to motorists they can be caught anywhere at any time.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he is looking into the issue of the mobile speed camera warning signs
Since the NSW government decided to remove the signs last year, speeding ticket revenue for offences less than 10km/h over the limit has increased from $2.3 million in 2019/2020 financial year to $23.3 million in 2020/2021
The partial backtrack came after a surge in the number of people being fined for going less than 10km/h over the limit, with areas of Western Sydney and regional NSW bearing the brunt.
NRMA national media liaison Michael Lane also weighed in, saying that more police officers actively patrolling the roads would improve the public perception of enforcement.
It would also have a greater impact on driver behaviour and help police solve other crimes.
People caught by signposted cameras were not paying adequate attention while driving, and the signs also serve as a reminder for people to watch their behaviour on the roads, Mr Lane said.
Mr Lane argues ‘a camera is just a fine in the post later, it doesn’t mean anything’ and that police actively patrolling high-crash zones would be more effective (stock image)
‘A camera is just a fine in the post later, it doesn’t mean anything,’ Mr Lane said.
The fines also had a more adverse effect on people with less money, and losing your licence in a regional area for accruing demerit points made a bigger difference than for someone living in a city with public transport options.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Chris Minns has promised to remove hidden speed cameras and condemned their use for revenue.
‘Hidden speed cameras are nothing more than a cash grab,’ he said.
‘That’s why Labor will abolish them.’