News

Northern Distributor speed camera under review

A REVIEW of speed cameras at 89 locations across the state have found that they have contributed to a reduction in crashes and/or casualties.
Overall there has been a 38 per cent reduction in the number of crashes at the locations and an 87 per cent reduction in fatalities and a 37 per cent reduction in injuries.
However, at five locations speed cameras have not been as effective – and one of those is located at Corrimal.
Field inspections will be completed by November 2012 with comprehensive reviews completed and alternative options for reducing speeding identified by February 2013.
The first annual NSW speed camera review has found they are effective in saving lives and reducing crashes and injuries.
The annual review follows last year’s Auditor-General’s report into speed cameras which found that the right speed camera in the right place can save lives.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the review had looked at all mobile, fixed, red light and point to point speed cameras.
“The results from the review are very encouraging with 88 of the 97 fixed speed camera locations recording a reduction in crashes and/or casualties,” said Mr Gay.
Nine cameras were identified for further review which found four were effective while five would be subject to a comprehensive field review by the Centre for Road Safety.
If during the field review it is determined that any camera is not delivering the expected safety benefits at the location, it will be recommended for removal and possible relocation.
One of those five is located on the Northern Distributer just south of Railway Street Corrimal.
“We’re determined to ensure speed cameras are only in locations where they have a proven road safety benefit, and that they are not simply there as revenue raisers.
“The review found that at the fixed speed camera locations, fatalities dropped by 87 per cent, crashes dropped by 38 per cent and injuries were reduced by 37 per cent,” he said.
“There are some encouraging results from the review of mobile and red light speed cameras too, even though they have been operating for only a short time.
“Early results show reductions in both crashes and fatalities at mobile and red light speed camera sites.
“Crashes at intersections enforced by red light speed cameras have dropped by 21%, while casualties have fallen by 26 per cent.”
Mobile speed cameras are in their infancy, but results from the first 12 months of operation show a 19 per cent drop in fatalities and a general decrease of 6 per cent in speeding through most speed zones.
Mr Gay said while it’s too early to evaluate point to point speed cameras, preliminary indications suggest there is a high level of compliance.
But he said there are a couple of concerning trends that need to be addressed.
“While the results are generally positive, the results in the 100 kph zones revealed there was an increase in speeding compared to the period 2008-1010,” he said.
These results coincide with an increase in the number of fatalities in 100kph zones that are speed related.
In 2010 38% of fatalities in 100 kph zones were speed related, while in 2011 that number increased to 46%.
Mr Gay said these figures show that 100 kph zones should be targeted for additional enforcement, including highway patrol.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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