Co-written by: Georgia Walker
KEY TAKE OUTS
- The NSW Government has announced the removal of speed camera warning signs in a state-wide bid to reduce road fatalities.
- Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, made the announcement on the 19 November 2020 regarding the proposed changes to the state’s mobile speed camera program.
- Currently, there are 110 fixed speed cameras and approximately 45 mobile speed cameras in NSW.
- The proposed changes are part of a wider scheme of driving laws intended to crack down on speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In an announcement which has attracted much attention, the NSW Government has proposed changes to the state’s mobile speed camera program to be implemented over the next twelve months. One of the key changes is the removal of speed camera warning signs for both fixed and mobile speed cameras. This would mean that motorists will no longer be warned when there is a speed camera up ahead.
The rationale behind the proposal is to reduce the number of fatalities caused as a result of speeding each year. The NSW government cited research conducted by Monash University Accident Research Centre which made findings that such changes to the mobile speed camera program may be effective in saving between 34 and 43 lives and prevent approximately 600 injuries in NSW alone each year. As expressed by the Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, ‘This is about changing culture and changing behaviour. We’ve seen it happen with our world leading mobile phone detection program, where the rate of people offending has steadily declined. No warnings signs mean you can be caught anywhere, anytime and we want that same culture around mobile speed cameras’.
There have been some vocal criticisms about the program, reducing it to a revenue raising exercise. However, both Transport Ministers have expressed that the safety of motorists has been a paramount consideration in making the proposed changes to traffic laws. This point was stressed by the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, who referred to the alarming rates at which people in country areas are dying on our roads as a result of speeding. Despite only constituting a third of the state’s population, deaths on country roads made up two-third’s of the state’s road toll in 2019.
The proposed changes to the speed camera program are part of a wider scheme of law reforms aimed at increasing the safety of road users in NSW, with further changes to laws introduced to increase penalties for drug and drink driving laws. With a further emphasis on road safety, the government has announced that funds generated from the mobile speed camera program will be reinvested into government road safety initiatives through the ‘Community Road Safety Fund’.
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