- The Sunday Telegraph
- February 01, 2014
MOTORISTS will fork out $100 million in speed camera fines this year, more than triple the amount collected in the year the O’Farrell government was elected on a pledge to get rid of speed traps.
That represents an average of $20 a head for the state’s five million drivers – and with another 45 mobile speed cameras working longer hours on the way the pain is only going to get worse.
The first half of this financial year has seen a record $48 million in fines siphoned from drivers’ pockets. If the trend continues, experts are predicting government coffers will swell by $100 million.
A single camera at the corner of George and Quay Sts in Haymarket in the city has raised more than $2 million since it was switched on in July.
View Speed camera traps in a full screen map
In 2011, the year of the state election, red light and speed safety cameras raised just more than $22.1 million.
Incoming Transport Minister Duncan Gay told voters he would turn off any cameras which did not serve a legitimate road safety purpose and announced a review of the state’s speed camera network the following year.
But in 2012 cameras across NSW netted the State Government more than $52.4 million – an increase of more than $30 million.
Last year saw further revenue growth when the cash-pot jumped by another $10 million to more than $63 million.
Peter Khoury, spokesman for motoring organisation NRMA said cameras played a limited role in ensuring road safety. While he would prefer members were not fined he said no one could condone dangerous driving and breaking the road rules.
“There is a broad acknowledgment that cameras are less effective than a police officer,” Mr Khoury said.
Suburb Street Introduced Amount Haymarket George Street at Quay Street July $2,080,129 Fairfield The Horsley Drive at Polding Street October $509,688 Bradbury Moore Oxley Bypass at The Parkway November $320,355 Bankstown Edgar Street at Marion Street September $290,790 Alexandria Collins Street at O’Riordan Street November $253,286 Warrawong King Street at Cowper Street November $199,134 Belfield Burwood Road at Punchbowl Road November $160,380 St Marys Mamre Road at Saddington Street October $140,318 Northmead Briens Road at Redbank Road October $77,687 Lakemba Punchbowl Road at Wangee Road November $66,195 Wallsend Thomas Street at Metcalfe Street November $60,399 Smithfield The Horsley Drive at Gipps Street September $54,940 Woollahra Queen Street at Ocean Street November $47,841 Ramsgate Rocky Point Road at Ramsgate Road October $45,360
Opposition Transport spokesman Walt Secord backed agreed with Mr Khoury’s view, saying: “Getting a ticket two weeks after the fact does not change behaviour, but seeing a police car on the roadside gets drivers to slow down and changes behaviour.”
A spokesman from Mr Gay’s office stood by the “road safety” measures and said there were more, new cameras to come.
“The Government is rolling out an extra 45 mobile speed cameras and increasing the number of enforcement hours from 900 to 7000,” the spokesman said. “The roll out will be complete by July this year.
“All money raised from speed cameras goes into the Community Road Safety Fund which is then spent of road safety initiatives such as school flashing lights, the safer driver’s course, education campaigns and road safety improvements.”
Asked specifically about the Haymarket camera, Mr Gay said was not concerned.
“I don’t spend my time watching speed camera revenue tick over,” Mr Gay said.
“As there is a large amount of money, it is disappointing because it indicates people are not obeying the rules.”