NRMA backs action on speed cameras


NRMA backs government response to NSW speed camera review, but says RTA must do more for motorists

July 29, 2011

The NRMA has backed the NSW Government’s decision to shut off 38 of its speed cameras following a review into the system, but adds that more must be done.

Responding to the review handed down this week by Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat, NRMA Director Coral Taylor says deactivating cameras that were found not to have had a significant safety benefit is a positive step forward.

While saying speed cameras improve road safety, Achterstraat criticised a lack of transparency on the part of the RTA because of its decision not to publicise reasons for installing units or publishing trends to show they have been effective.

"The Auditor General’s report is much more than an assessment of individual speed cameras – it is an indictment of the way that the whole camera issue has been managed in NSW," Taylor says.

"The RTA needs to take action if other factors are involved such as confusing speed limits or speed camera signs hidden from view."

The motor sport enthusiast now wants the RTA to commit to a transparent camera calibration program, which she says will give motorists "absolute confidence" that cameras will only be installed to improve road safety.

Taylor also welcomed the announcement cameras will now be reviewed annually, adding that changes to the system will reassure motorists that cameras will be located in places with a high safety risk.

In his review, Achterstraat found that the state’s 141 speed cameras changed driver behaviour and were not acting as cash cows for government.

He recommended the 38 cameras that had no significant safety benefit be closely monitored, but Roads Minister Duncan Gay immediately contacted the RTA to order it to switch them off.

In arguing for greater transparency from the RTA, Achterstraat says publishing trends in crashes, revenue and speeding or infringement data for each camera will allow motorists to determine what impact individual units have had on driver behaviour.

RTA CEO Michael Bushby says the Centre for Road Safety will develop a speed camera strategy, which the Auditor-General wants done by March next year.

Bushby says the RTA will investigate ways to improve community confidence in speed cameras, such as publishing trends and publicising information on a new website to be developed.

"If future camera decisions are inconsistent with site selection criteria, the RTA will document the reason. Some cameras are installed to prevent a potential future crash problem," Bushby says.

"The RTA agrees that where a fixed speed camera has not had a significant impact on road safety the camera should be removed and other road safety treatments considered for that site."


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