Point-to-point cameras should be for all: ATA NSW

NSW trucking lobby wants point-to-point speed cameras applied to all motorists instead of just trucking operators

Brad Gardner | February 23, 2011

The NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association wants the next NSW government to apply point-to-point speed cameras to all motorists instead of just trucking operators.

The lobby group says the current system is not good enough because speeding motorists detected by the cameras go unpunished.

NSW voters will go the polls on March 26, and the ATA NSW wants the party that forms government to make sure all motorists caught speeding by point-to-point cameras are fined and receive demerit points.

"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 says.

Unlike conventional speed cameras, point-to-point devices measure the amount of time it takes a truck to drive between two points. Truck drivers are penalised if the cameras show the vehicle’s average speed exceeded the speed limit on the length of road.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) announced last year it would install more point-to-point cameras, labelled Safe-T-Cam, to catch speeding truck drivers.

An academic study released last year supported greater use of the devices due to shortfalls with fixed cameras.

"One of the associated problems with automated speed enforcement is the tendency for some drivers to brake when passing a speed camera and then to speed in excess of the speed limit when out of range of the camera," a report by the University of Queensland and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research found.

NSW is also expanding the use of mobile speed cameras. Dr Soames Job from the RTA’s Centre for Road Safety says the units will be operating for 12,200 hours a month by July.

Job says the number of units that will be needed is unclear.

"One company may supply us a very good quote by using fewer cameras and operating for 20 hours a day. Another may consider it more efficient to have twice as many cameras operating 12 hours a day," he says.

Similar to the findings of the academic report, Job says speed cameras reduce injuries and fatalities.

The ATA NSW has also issued a questionnaire to the major parties seeking responses on their policies to rest areas, roads, truck safety and regulation.

The parties have been asked to respond by March 16, and Lewis says the results will be published on March 21 to give NSW trucking operators an understanding of Labor’s and the Coalition’s transport policies.

"Trucking plays a key role in the state economy, and with the freight task set to double, the decisions made by the incoming government will have a massive impact on Australia’s ability to stay competitive into the future," she says.

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