The New South Wales Government in Australia has published its first annual performance review of the state’s speed cameras, which follows last year’s report into the cameras by the NSW Auditor-General. The latest figures suggest that the cameras have overwhelmingly reduced the number of vehicle crashes and road fatalities across the state. The review of 97 fixed speed cameras shows that 92 of the devices have improved road safety in their respective areas. Overall there has been a 38% cent reduction in the number of crashes at these locations, with an 87% reduction in fatalities and a 37% reduction in injuries. At the five locations where cameras have not been as effective, field inspections will be completed by November 2012 and alternative options for reducing speeding identified by February 2013.
Early results for the first 12 months of the state’s mobile speed camera program shows there was a 19% reduction in fatalities and a general decrease in the proportion of vehicles speeding of around 6% in most speed zones. However, there has been an increase in speeding and crashes on roads zoned at 100km/h (62mph), so mobile speed camera enforcement will be targeting these types of roads. The NSW red-light and speed camera operation is still in its infancy, with 46 camera locations fully enforcing both offences and the remainder enforcing for red-lights only. Overall, at the 91 intersections with red-light speed cameras there has been a 21% drop in crashes and a 26% drop in casualties.
NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, said, “The drop in fatalities may still fail to convince drivers that speed cameras are about saving lives. Most drivers don’t believe that we’re just doing it for road safety, because very much in the past it had been done for revenue raising in certain areas.” Tony Stuart, CEO of motoring and services for the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA), commented, “The community should feel confident that these cameras are there to save lives and not raise revenue. The audit did identify five speed camera locations in NSW that required further scrutiny, as they have not been as effective. The government should remove the cameras from these locations, if there is no road safety benefit.”
19 July 2012
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