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Drivers in south NSW dodge speeding fines in July: What happened?

2 minute read

A significant blunder in July meant that drivers in south NSW were let off easy on speeding fines. Reports revealed that during the month, only 5% of the top 100 mobile speed camera locations for fines were in the south of the state.

While a total of over 15,000 speeding offences were issued in NSW during July, merely 615 offences were issued in the south. This means that drivers in the north were nearly 25 times more likely to have gotten a speeding fine.

In south NSW, the number of June speeding fines issued in Wagga Wagga (339) and Queanbeyan (152) dropped to zero in July. Nowra, which recorded 313 fines in May also had zero fines issued in July.

The reason for this striking difference can be traced back to the new contractor in charge of rolling out mobile speed cameras in the south, technology company Acusensus. Despite the company’s $77 million contract, the lack of mobile speed cameras was blamed on COVID-19; with the tech company saying they were unable to buy vehicles and fit them with appropriate speed cameras. Since August, Acusensus has increased the number of speed cameras in south NSW to 14 and shared that they will be implementing more to meet the conditions stated in their contract.

Speed cameras, like the implementation of speed limits, combat the leading cause of fatal crashes across the globe. It’s simple – the faster a vehicle goes, the greater the probability of a crash and consequently the severity of the crash.

For many, going over the speed limit can be a genuine mistake. But some people deliberately and consistently speed.

Speed limits and speed cameras protect us as road users and remind us as drivers to stay within a safe speed.

Speed limits were reduced in the early 2000s and now the average speed limit is generally 50km/h for urban residential areas and 100km/h for roads in rural areas across the country. Ranking 15th in speed camera count globally in 2020, Australia had approximately 1335 fixed speed detection cameras across the nation (not including mobile speed detection cameras).

Although speed cameras aim to stop drivers speeding and as a result prevent death and serious injury, they seem to be involved in constant controversy. Earlier this year, signage for fixed speed cameras were removed leading to immense backlash. The signs were later reintroduced as they reportedly helped slow down drivers.

While some people argue that speed cameras are a way for the government to make money, it can’t be denied that without speed cameras the situation on the roads could be very different.

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