Speed cameras raking it in
A single speed camera is taking more than $12,000 a day.
The camera on Sydney’s Eastern Distributor earns the same daily rate as a top Sydney barrister or what Australian captain Michael Clarke earns for two one-day internationals, is at the top of a list of Sydney’s 20 most lucrative – which combined put $17.6 million in the government’s coffers in just six months.
The Eastern Distributor camera snapped 10,047 speeding drivers – an average of 54 a day – and collected $2,275,724 in fines in the six months ot December 31. The camera has topped the Office of State Revenue’s speeding notices’ list since the 2011-12 financial year.
A camera in the southbound lanes on Botany Road at Rosebery, came in second, again, with 7,266 fines in the six-month period, followed by Cleveland Street at Moore Park (eastbound) with 5,515 notices. The top 20 fixed speed cameras caught a total of 80,479 drivers.
Opposition roads spokesman Walt Secord said that under the O’Farrell Government speed cameras have been turned into “cash registers”.
“Before the March 2011 election, Barry O’Farrell said he would remove them, but in government he has been rolling them out across the State,” Mr Secord said. “Speed cameras for safety purposes are necessary, especially in school zones, but Barry O’Farrell has turned them into cash registers for his Government.”
A spokesman for Roads Minister Duncan Gay said speeding was a factor in 148 road deaths last year. “In NSW, we use a high visibility approach to address speeding, with cameras supporting enforcement conducted by NSW Police,” he said.
Last year the Government reviewed the location of fixed speed cameras and determined that 91 locations were found to have been effective in improving road safety. There was a 90 per cent drop in fatalities at camera locations. All revenue raised by cameras is spent on road safety including flashing lights for school crossings.
In NSW there are fixed speed cameras at 108 locations, red light speed cameras at 126 intersections, 13 mobile speed camera vehicles and 22 point-to-point enforcement lengths for heavy vehicles.
“A review of all speed cameras in NSW is carried out every year and cameras at 33 locations have been decommissioned by this Government because they were not improving road safety. There are currently a further nine cameras under review,” the spokesman said.
“We want people to be aware of enforcement cameras, that’s why all speed cameras in NSW have highly visible warning signs before them so motorists will know a speed camera is operating and ensure they obey the speed limit.
“If a motorist sees those signs and slows down, the speed camera has done its job. More than 99 per cent of vehicles that pass speed cameras are not infringed.”
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the Government should consider an audit of the top speed camera locations to examine the visibility of signage warning of the presence of the cameras and whether road conditions are contributing to speeding offences.
Mr Khoury said while the NRMA acknowledges speed cameras have a role to play, increased police activity and visibility is the most effective way to crack down on bad driver behaviour.