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Mobile speed camera numbers to increase

Snap: Speed cameras are going under cover in NSW and Queensland.

Mobile speed camera numbers to increase

General News logo11 May 2010

NEW South Wales and Queensland will introduce covert mobile digital speed cameras from July, with NSW cameras also getting number-plate recognition technology to capture unregistered and uninsured vehicles.

As well, 200 digital intersection ‘safety cameras’ that detect both speed and red-light infringements are being rolled out in NSW, either replacing outmoded wet-film cameras or being installed at new sites.

Announced together with a NSW government spend of $170 million on highway safety audits, road repairs, education and heavy-vehicle safety, the initial six mobile speed cameras will be used across the state on roads revealed on the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) website, although time and exact location will not be announced.

Along with red light, safety, transit way and toll way cameras, the covert cameras will not only identify speeding vehicles but also unregistered and uninsured vehicles.

Camera cars will be marked, and a roadside sign notifying drivers of its presence will be placed after the camera vehicle. For the first month, drivers will get only a warning letter.

Camera numbers will be increased over the next year to about 35 to 40 units.

Mobile speed cameras have been used in NSW before, from 1991 until November 2008, when the last of the outdated wet-film cameras were decommissioned as they fell into disrepair and were not replaced.

 center imageA spokesperson for the NSW transport minister, David Campbell, told GoAuto that mobile speed cameras were recognised internationally as one tool to reduce speeding and crashes.

“A report prepared by Monash University Accident Research Centre has found mobile speed cameras have reduced the number of crashes in Victoria and Queensland by at least 25 per cent,” he said.

The NSW State Debt Recovery Unit Annual Report 2008-2009 says RTA static speed camera penalty notice revenue dropped by $14.3 million.

The NSW transport minister’s spokesperson said: “An independent evaluation of the NSW program was conducted by ARRB (Australian road research organisation).

“This report showed that at the fixed camera sites the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit was reduced by 71 per cent which had resulted in fatal crashes being reduced by 90 per cent and casualty crashes being reduced by 23 per cent near cameras.” Official NSW road toll figures show fatalities this year to May 10 are down from 171 to 166 – a fall of three per cent.

In Victoria, where more than 150 speed cameras operate and enforcement tolerance is the lowest in the country, the road toll so far this year (to May 10) is 112 – the same as 2009.

The NSW transport minister’s spokesperson said: “Victoria has been increasing its speeding enforcement program for the past decade and mobile speed cameras have been recognised as a significant part of this success.” Queensland already deploys marked mobile speed camera vans but as part of its Road Safety Action Plan 2010-2011, it will make up to 30 per cent of the mobile camera fleet unmarked.

Queensland’s premier Anna Bligh said mobile speed cameras reduced casualty crashes.

“Our latest figures from 2007, when the numbers of these cameras was last increased, show that the estimated number of serious casualty crashes prevented by the mobile speed camera program was 2863,” she said.

In Queensland, the fatality rate to the end of March 2010 is down 39.3 per cent over the first quarter last year.

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