Mobile Speed Camera Fines Soar, ‘Make Them Fairer’ Says NRMA Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Mar, 13 2015 | 13 Comments

The NRMA is calling for a fairer mobile speed camera system in New South Wales, after new data revealed fines are on track to double this financial year.

Around 26,500 fines were issued by the mobile speed traps in 2013/14, jumping to 41,000 in the first half of this financial year alone.

The Association has released a report on the issue, outlining four key points which it believes will make the program fairer on motorists.

The main points surround mobile camera warning signs, which have been criticised since the program was reintroduced for being too small.

Under the NRMA’s plan, the signs would be larger and would feature the current speed limit to remind drivers to slow down if necessary.

The current mobile speed camera warning sign, obscured by parked cars
The current mobile speed camera warning sign, obscured by parked cars

Originally, one sign each was placed 50 metres ahead of and following a speed camera vehicle to inform motorists that their speed had been monitored. An additional sign was added later, placed 250 metres ahead of the camera.

The NRMA has instead proposed a sliding scale for warning signs placed ahead of speed camera vehicles, starting at 200 and then 40 metres for 40km/h zones and rising to 500/100 metres for 100km/h zones.

Clearer warning signs would also reduce driver anxiety, the report says, as drivers will no longer travel at a speed well-below the limit because they are unaware of (or have forgotten) the limit when they see a speed camera.

The report also suggests exploring higher or vehicle-mounted signs, after members reported instances where the current minute signs were hidden behind roadside obstacles - such as garbage bins.

The NRMA believes roads currently governed by mobile speed cameras should be regularly audited, to ensure cameras are having a positive effect on road safety and not merely revenue-raising.

If regularly audited, changes could be considered for roads where drivers are constantly being fined.

Mobile speed camera vehicles should look more like this: NRMA
Mobile speed camera vehicles should look more like this: NRMA

The last of the four points addresses mobile speed camera vehicles, which the NRMA believes should be decked out in distinctive high-visibility markings in the same way police pursuit cars are.

NRMA President Kyle Loades said these common-sense measures would cost almost nothing but ensure greater transparency and reinforce the message that the cameras are about safety, not revenue.

"Mobile speed cameras play an important role as one of a suite of measures to make our roads safer - but that's not to say we can't make them fairer and more transparent," Mr Loades said.

"The number of cameras active and their hours of operation have increased significantly this year so now is the perfect time to improve the way they operate.”

"If motorists are given a fairer chance to adjust their speed [and] drive to the conditions than it will not only reduce the number of motorists who get fined, but also make our roads safer - that's exactly what the NRMA's proposals will achieve."

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