SYDNEY — A New South Wales government’s, in the southeastern region of Australia, decision to remove warning signs for mobile speed cameras resulted in AU$4 million ($2.94 million) worth of fines for low-range offenses in May 2021 alone, the state opposition says.
“The monthly revenue haul for breaches of less than 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 miles per hour) is the highest on record,” said Chris Minns, New South Wales Labor leader.
By way of comparison, 1547 fines were issued by New South Wales police for such offenses in May 2020 and 27,144 in May 2021, an increase of 1655 percent.
Minns said the state government is also deploying secret multi-directional cameras for triple the time than they were previously.
“A decision was made to remove camera warning signs last November, and they have raised AU$20.2 million ($14.84 million) in revenue since January 2021 in speeding fines less than 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 miles per hour),” he said.
“The fine for ‘under 10 km’ speeding offenses is AU$123 ($90.37). People slow down when they see proper warning signs — and that makes our roads safe”.
Bernard Carlon, executive director of the Centre for Road Safety, said the focus should not be on fines but on speed which was a factor in 54 percent of fatalities between March and July last year. The Centre for Road Safety develops practical solutions to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads of New South Wales. The way we develop and target our road safety campaigns, work with the community, and design our roads and vehicles can greatly affect road crashes in New South Wales.
“By comparison, it was a causal factor in 35 percent of fatal crashes for the same period in 2019,” he said.
Carlon said drivers were beginning to change their behavior because of road safety changes.
“Early indications are the changes to the mobile speed camera program, along with other initiatives, are contributing to a reduction in trauma with the number of deaths on our roads down by 58 in the 2020/21 financial year, compared to the average of the three previous financial years,” he said.
Reports suggest that in 2019, there were over 180 fatal crashes that involved a heavy vehicle in Australia. This number was down from 2010, in which there were 206 fatal crashes that involved a heavy vehicle. Out of the fatal crashes in 2019 involving heavy vehicles, there were over 200 fatalities.
Also, it was reported that in 2019, there were 24 fatalities in which a bus was involved in Australia. This was a decrease from 2017, in which there were 32 fatalities in which a bus was involved. This was the highest number of bus fatalities across the ten years. The Australian state of New South Wales holds an annual Bus Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness for drivers on staying safe when driving around buses.
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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