A recent review of speed cameras in NSW has resulted in the removal of three such devices from their locations.
The results of the inaugural NSW Speed Camera Performance Review were announced yesterday (April 16) by roads minister Duncan Gay.
Mr Gay said that the review had found that speed cameras reduced fatalities at their locations by 87 per cent.
He noted, however, that “a handful” of speed cameras were identified as needing further investigation as to their effectiveness.
Those investigations resulted in two cameras on Cowpasture Road at Green Valley and another at New England Highway at Kootingal being removed.
“We have said repeatedly that speed cameras will be used only where there is a proven road safety benefit,” said Mr Gay in a statement.
Those benefits can be twofold. The sting of a speeding fine can be a motivating factor in changing driver behaviour to stay within the speed limit.
The presence of cameras can also be an effective deterrent for speeding in the first place, yet the effectiveness of this strategy is dependent on the visibility of such devices.
NRMA Motoring and Services recently called for an assessment of warning signs at two of the most profitable speed cameras in NSW.
That assessment found that the signs warning motorists about the Craigend St, Darlinghurst and Ryde Road, West Pymble cameras were confusing.
The signs were then changed from saying ‘Safety Cameras’ to ‘Red Light Speed Camera’, and their size was increased.
As a result, the number of fines generated by the cameras dropped by 53 per cent and 51 per cent respectively over the next three months.
NRMA president Wendy Machin said that clear signage was critical to improving the safety at high risk locations.
“When the public can see that there’s a red light/speed camera at a black spot they slow down which reduces the risk of dangerous crashes,” said Ms Machin in a March 31 statement.
We would like to see the RMS go out to camera locations that are generating huge numbers of fines and identify what can be done to make the road safer, such as better positioned warning signs or removing advertising distractions and sign clutter.”
She suggests that safety at dangerous locations can be improved with simple changes, and that the speed camera revenues currently going towards road safety would be well spent in addressing crash black spots.
Crashes involving speeding accounted for 41 per cent of all fatal car accidents in 2011, and 17 per cent of total accidents.
Anyone injured in a crash in NSW which happened because another driver was speeding may be entitled to car accident compensation.