The removal of warning signs for mobile speed cameras on New South Wales roads has drawn considerable criticism from sections of the community and the NRMA has had a number of Members contact us to voice their concerns. Here, we explain the story and listened to your opinion.
What's the background?
In mid-November 2020, the NSW Government announced changes to the state’s Mobile Speed Camera program, including:
- A reduction in high visibility markings on mobile speed camera vehicles;
- The removal of warning signs;
- Enforcement in both directions of travel; and
- A significant increase in the hours of operation.
The NRMA supports the increased hours of mobile speed cameras but also supports cameras having warning signs.
The NRMA is unequivocal on this key point – all enforcement cameras in NSW that tackle speed must have warning signs because warning signs act as an important educational tool to remind drivers to do the right thing.
The warning signs also crucially display the speed limit where they operate, which enables motorists to check their speed. This helps reduce confusion as drivers often find themselves in areas where they may not be aware of the speed limit, or where the speed limit changes frequently.
For those who flout the law, the cameras will catch them – a fact backed up by the NSW Government’s own budget figures, which shows they will again rake in record levels of revenue in fines from cameras this year and have done in previous years.
The NSW Government supported the use of warning signs for speed enforcement cameras when it was in Opposition and worked with the NRMA to get them rolled out when elected to Government.
The NSW Government has pointed to the experience of other states, such as Queensland, that do not have warning signs, as justification for the removal of signs in NSW. In 2020, Queensland recorded 276 deaths on the state’s roads – an increase of 57 deaths on the year before – despite the impact of COVID on traffic volumes.
While warning signs play an important role in reminding drivers to the right thing, we also need to increase the number of marked highway patrols on our roads and the amount of hours they are patrolling the streets.
NRMA research has consistently shown that the public overwhelmingly support the work of the police in cracking down on all forms of bad behaviour, and throughout 2021 the NRMA will be focusing heavily on getting the police the resources they need to do this work.
The NRMA wants to see more clearly marked visible highway patrols on the state’s roads and especially across regional NSW, where more than two-thirds of the deaths on the state’s roads occur.