Big change to speed cameras blasted
A controversial decision to remove warning signs for mobile speed cameras in NSW has seen motorists in the state cop three times as many fines.
The changes - blasted as a "disgrace" and "absurd" by critics - came into effect in November.
The number of hours the cameras operate also tripled from 7000 hours per month to 21,000 hours and the fleet of cars have been stripped back to look like regular cars parked on the side of the road.
Warnings signs were previously required to be placed 250m ahead of the mobile speed camera, as well as 50m after.
As a result, the mobile speed cameras now look like everyday cars, with no indication a police officer is inside with a speed camera, and new data has revealed the brutal effect this has had on our wallets.
According to new figures obtained by 9 News, monthly fines have more than tripled since the changes were brought in, with revenue surging to a record high of almost $2.5 million in December alone.
That figure was under $400,000 for the same month in the previous year.
The laws were brought in to save lives, with the Monash University Accident Research Centre estimating between 34 and 43 lives per year could be saved.
They were spurred by the tragic deaths of four children at Oatlands early last year, after an intoxicated driver mounted the footpath.
Leila and Daniel Abdallah lost three children in the crash, and one of the childrens' cousins was also killed.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the changes are about shifting culture and behaviour.
"We want to make a difference," he said. "We can't keep doing what we're doing, year in, year out, knowing the impact it has on families, loved ones, children and our community."
However, the rules have been slammed by the state opposition, with Labor's roads spokesman John Graham saying the rules appears to be about revenue raising than saving lives.
Wagga Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang has also been an outspoken critic. He says the rules are "absurd" and unfairly target regional motorists.
'These changes aren't about safety, they are about revenue. The changes also unfairly target rural drivers," he told news.com.au.
"Andrew Constance didn't consult regional MPs before making this policy change and it's a rubbish decision which the public can see straight through and I will continue to fight against."
The government argues the proof is in the data, with independent modelling from Monash University Accident Research Centre showing these enhancements to the mobile speed camera program may save between 34 and 43 lives, and prevent about 600 serious injuries in NSW each year.
Do you support the changes? Let us know in the comments below.
Originally published as Big change to speed cameras blasted