Use fine revenue for better roads and education

Heavy Fines - Loss of Licence - NSW road sign
Heavy Fines - Loss of Licence - NSW traffic sign

A new NRMA report into the Community Road Safety Fund has found strong public support for revenue collected from fines being directed into improving the state’s roads and into more road safety education in schools to keep children safe.

It’s Not Fine found that a survey of 1,200 NRMA Members strongly supports (76%) the establishment of an independent committee to determine where to spend the Fund’s more than one-quarter-of-a-billion dollar annual revenue.

The Community Road Safety Fund was established in 2012 following calls by the NRMA to direct all revenue from camera fines back into road safety. These cameras detect drivers speeding, running red lights and using their phones illegally.

Worryingly, despite being in operation for eight years only less than one-quarter (24%) of those surveyed were aware that all revenue from road safety camera fines goes back into road safety.

It’s Not Fine found the top road safety initiatives for funding were: -

  • Upgrade roads to be safer (59%)
  • Road safety education in schools (43%)
  • More mobile phone detection cameras (36%)
  • More drug driving tests (33%)

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said the NRMA strongly supported the work of the Community Road Safety Fund and today’s report identified a number of measures designed to enhance the work of the Fund moving forward.

“The decision by the NSW Government to back NRMA’s calls to create the Community Road Safety Fund in 2012 has helped negate the false argument that road safety cameras were nothing more than revenue raisers,” Mr Khoury said.

“The Fund has directed much needed revenue into important programs such as fixing black spots, more highway patrols on our roads and education campaigns.

“The NRMA’s It’s Not Fine report has identified a number of practical measures we want the Government to adopt help strengthen the Fund, provide greater transparency and reporting into where the money is going and promote this work in the community.

“This NRMA report shows the public are big supporters of programs that make our roads safer, teach children road safety in schools and crack-down on drivers using their phones illegally and driving under the influence of illicit drugs – all good measures that the NRMA supports.”

Key recommendations from NRMA’s It’s Not Fine report include:

  • Establish an independent committee to determine where revenue from the Fund is directed
  • More transparent, detailed and public reporting on programs funded and their effectiveness
  • More education around the Community Road Safety Fund to inform the public of its work

“The NSW Government was right to set up the Community Road Safety Fund and these sensible measures proposed by the NRMA will only enhance its work. Critically, by raising its profile we will strengthen the argument that cameras are here to save lives and not raise revenue,” Mr Khoury said.