NSW speed cameras catching drivers not paying attention, as warning signs reintroduced
The reintroduction of warning signs for mobile speed cameras in NSW has identified a new type of idiot on the road: drivers who aren’t paying attention.
Hundreds of motorists a day are still being caught by mobile speed cameras in NSW – despite two warning signs before the speed trap, one sign on the roof of the camera car, and another sign after their speed has been checked.
Exclusive data obtained by Nine News shows the number of cars detected speeding has dropped from one in every 311 motorists passing a mobile speed camera location in May and June 2022, to one in every 1663 motorists in May and June this year.
The spike in mobile speed camera fines in 2022 occurred after the previous NSW Government removed warning signs, minimised reflective markings on camera cars, and lowered the threshold at which drivers were nabbed.
The decline in mobile speed camera fines in 2023 occurred after the warning signs were reintroduced.
However, the latest data demonstrates those one in 1663 motorists are either day-dreaming, distracted, or not paying to the road and the signs ahead because they are still being booked despite the warnings.
“With all the warning signs that are in place now, drivers deserve to get one ticket for whatever speed they were doing over the limit, and another ticket for not paying due care and attention,” a veteran highway patrol officer told Drive on condition of anonymity as they are not permitted to speak to media about traffic matters.
“It means speed camera cars are now probably catching people who are not concentrating on the road, not aware of their surroundings, and clearly not checking for other important road signs.”
Responding to the public backlash after fines increased tenfold – raking in millions of dollars to top-up state revenue coffers – the previous NSW Government reintroduced warning signs ahead of mobile speed camera cars.
Since then, the newly-elected NSW Government has doubled-down and made good on its promise to reward drivers who changed their behaviour after being booked.
The newly-elected NSW Government followed through with its pre-election promise to wipe one demerit point for each year of safe driving, rather than waiting three years for all the points from a particular fine to clear at once.
Mobile speed camera enforcement in NSW under the previous government was so draconian, the vast number of fines put many livelihoods at risk for speeding offences less than 10km/h over the limit – and the harsh measures did not make a dent on the road toll.
The previous government responded to the backlash with advertising billboards claiming most road deaths occur in this speed range.
However, police sources who closely monitor road fatality statistics say the “10km/h over” message only tells part of the story and in fact drugs, alcohol, failing to wear a seatbelt, and unsafe and unregistered cars account for the overwhelming majority of fatal crashes, many of which occurred within the 10km/h speed range.
“You’ve got to look beyond that 10km/h message,” the confidential source told Drive. “The government is being very selective in how they are using that statistic. If they were being honest with the motoring public they would acknowledge the real menaces on our roads are impaired drivers and recidivist offenders, not mums and dads getting busted a few (kilometres per hour) over the limit.”
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