May 27, 2011
New point-to-point speed cameras have been installed on the Federal Highway in NSW to target heavy vehicle speeding.
The Roads and Traffic Authority released a statement saying the units had been erected between Goulburn and Collector.
Part of a program to increase the number of point-to-point cameras throughout the state, the units will measure the time it takes a truck to travel between the two points to determine if it breached speed limits.
“This technology aims to slow speeding heavy vehicle drivers and make NSW highways and country roads safer for everyone to use,” an RTA spokesperson says.
“If the heavy vehicle’s average speed is higher than the speed limit for the length of road, the driver will be penalised for speeding.”
However, the RTA spokesperson says there will be an initial warning period where letters instead of infringements will be issued to drivers.
“Warning signs will also be posted at the start and end of point to point enforcement lengths,” the spokesperson says.
While speed cameras have long been derided as revenue raisers, the RTA insists the technology is purely about improving the safety of heavy vehicle drivers and other road users.
“Speed is all too often the cause of fatal crashes and point to point technology will help tackle this problem,” the RTA spokesperson says.
The new cameras add to the two existing point-to-point locations on the Pacific Highway. The RTA is planning to increase the number of locations to 20 by 2012.
The department says the new units will not be included in the review of speed cameras because the point-to-point program is a response to a recommendation from the Auditor-General’s investigation into heavy vehicle safety in 2009.
The Auditor-General is currently conducting a review of the effectiveness of speed cameras. Speed camera locations
and the sites for the point-to-point units
are listed on the RTA’s website.
According to a fact sheet on the RTA’s website, the cameras to be installed at the 20 locations will measure distances varying from 6km to 75km and will be on bi-directional lengths across the state.
“This means that speeding heavy vehicles can be detected in either direction on that length,” the fact sheet reads.
The locations to receive the cameras include the Hume, Newell, Mitchell, Monaro, New England, Pacific and Great Western highways. The RTA says surveys on major freight routes have found about half of heavy vehicles speed.
The RTA says the units will be “subject to rigorous testing” and enforcement lengths will be certified by a surveyor.
In a study released last year
, researchers from the University of Queensland and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research supported the use of point-to-point speed cameras.
The report found motorists abuse conventional fixed cameras by slowing down when approaching them and then speeding again when out of range.
The expansion of point-to-point units in NSW comes as the RTA increases the use of mobile speed cameras.
Director of the Centre for Road Safety at the RTA Dr Soames Job
plans to have mobile cameras operating for more than 12,000 hours a month by July this year to reduce road deaths and injuries.
Earlier this year, the NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association called for the cameras to be applied to motorists
to hold all road users accountable for speeding.
“If the aim of point-to-point speed cameras is to increase safety on the roads, then the most effective solution would be to cover every motorist,” ATA NSW manager Jill Lewis said in February.