But the NSW Government hasn’t actually confirmed plans to stop warning people of upcoming cameras.
A report from the New South Wales Auditor General has called for the removal of warning signs before mobile speed cameras, arguing they “reduce the perceived risk of detection”.
The report, simply titled Mobile Speed Cameras, highlighted the combination of “covert and unconcealed” mobile speed cameras in Victoria – where warning signs aren’t required – as a model to hit more motorists with speeding fines. According to the report, the number of infringements recorded in Victoria and Queensland are much higher than in NSW.
“General speed surveys indicate 28 per cent of drivers travel at up to 10km/h over the limit and over five per cent, or one in 20 drivers, at more than 10km/h over,” the report says.
“However less than 0.1 per cent, or one in 1,000 drivers, that pass a mobile speed camera in NSW is fined,” it goes on, suggesting the cameras aren’t actually having an impact on round-the-clock driver behaviour.
Since 2014, the number of speed-related fatalities in New South Wales has grown from 127 per year to 159.
Over the year-long period leading up to October 18, 2018 – the date of the report’s release – there had been 361 lives lost on New South Wales roads, up from 333 over the equivalent period in 2017.
In Victoria, apparent gold standard for mobile speed enforcement, the annual toll has fluctuated between 282 and 243 since 2012, with 259 people killed last year.
It did argue, however, there’s firm “evidence of a reduction in fatal and serious crashes at the 30 best-performing mobile speed camera locations” in New South Wales.
We’ve contacted Melinda Pavey, NSW Minister for Roads, to see if her office is considering adopting the changes, but hadn’t received a reply at the time of publication.
Although more than 1000 sites are technically ready for mobile speed cameras in NSW, just 650 were used between June and December last year.