Speed cameras across NSW brought in $103 million in fines last financial year.
Speed cameras across NSW brought in $103 million in fines last financial year.

Which North Coast road clocked $3.4m in speeding fines?

LOVE them or loathe them - and let's be serious, no one loves them - speed cameras remain a constant and lucrative money spinner for the NSW Government.

NSW Police last financial year issued 494,897 tickets from fixed and movable speed traps, bringing in $103 million in fines - up $7 million on 2014-15 and steadily rising year on year.

Office of State Revenue figures show the golden goose really starts laying over the November to January Christmas period when more people are on the road and police patrols are out in force.

One stretch of road stands above the rest as the Northern Rivers region's biggest flash for cash cow: the controversial Hinterland Way in Ewingsdale clocking up about $3.4 million from 14,631 separate speeding offences.

Of those, 13 fines totalling $29,978 were for drivers exceeding the speed limit by at least 45kmh.

Like the masses of drivers nabbed along that road, fines from the Hinterland Way fixed speed camera show no sign of slowing down.

Police have already issued 3542 fines totalling almost $1.2 million along that short stretch in July-September of this year.

The entire region - including Lismore, Byron Bay, Ballina, Richmond Valley and Kyogle - drew in $5.7 million in fines last financial year, meaning cameras northbound and southbound on Hinterland Way accounted for about two thirds of the entire region's speed camera revenue.

The Pacific Hwy at Woodburn was the second speeding hotspot with 6660 fines totting up a face value of about $1.4 million.

Next came the Pacific Hwy at Wardell, with $508,074 in fines, followed by Bangalow Rd in Clunes with $154,246.

The Bruxner Hwy in Wollongbar rounded out the region's revenue-raising top five with $85,929 in fines over the 2015-16 financial year.

A total 5241 on-the-spot fines for the entire region - police-issued, not from cameras - notched up a $1.8 million face value.

The NSW road toll increased by a shocking 25% in 2015-16, despite speed camera revenue rising 7.2% over the same period.

Transport for NSW figures reveal 387 people died on the state's roads over the 12 months to September - the worst statistics for any state in the country.

Shadow roads minister Jodi McKay has chastised the Baird government for cutting $15.5 million from its contribution to the Community Road Safety Fund last year.

She said speed cameras were being used to bolster the government's coffers rather than make roads safer.

"The road toll is increasing; the focus should be on slowing people down, not raising revenue," she said.

"It's disgraceful that the government has cut its contribution to funding road safety programs in the face of an increasing road toll.

"The minister should be fighting for every dollar to fund road safety and curb the needless loss of life."

Roads Minister Duncan Gay issued a statement saying death and injury had decreased by up to 90% at speed camera locations.

"It's disturbing when speeding is claiming more and more lives that this proven life-saving program is subjected to unjustified accusations of being 'revenue raising'," Mr Gay said.

ARM NEWSDESK



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