The NSW government is reportedly looking at removing all speed camera warning signs across the state in a move they claim could save 54 lives a year.
NSW Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance said the road toll had increased and the government was “looking at everything” using an “evidence-based approach”.
“Expert advice says we could save 54 lives a year by removing speed camera warning signs,” Mr Constance said in a statement. “We will consider any advice that tells us we can save lives.”
Already in 2019 there have been 310 lives lost on the state’s roads – up by 16 compared to this time last year.
The NSW government estimates that speed-related crashes cost the community roughly $1.7 billion each year on emergency services, hospital and health care and loss of productivity.
A report by the state Auditor-General last year into the mobile speed camera program recommended removing warning signs as they “limit the effectiveness of the program”.
The move follows revelations last month that Sydney drivers have been issued $104 million in speed camera fines in the last 12 months alone.
NSW currently has 110 fixed speed cameras and around 45 mobile speed cameras. Next month it will begin rolling out mobile phone detection cameras.
“A key aspect of providing an effective general network deterrence is creating a perception that speeding can be enforced anywhere at any time,” the report said.
“Multiple warning signs have increased compliance at the sites and locations that MSCs currently operate but reduced the likelihood of achieving a general network deterrence – the main purpose of MSCs. This is because the use of signs reduces the perceived risk of detection, thereby limiting the ability of MSCs to moderate driver behaviour at other locations.”
Mr Constance said, “If we continue to have signage, that defeats the purpose in changing people’s behaviour. People need to understand that they could be caught anywhere on the road network at any time, doing the wrong thing.”
He added, “Everybody needs to know fine revenue goes straight into a road safety fund to educate people on what they’ve done wrong in the first place.”
In the first 10 months of 2019, 310 people have been killed on NSW roads, 16 more than the same period last year. The final road toll for 2018 was 347.