Wollongong speed camera fines slashed

The number of people caught speeding by the camera on the Princes Highway at North Wollongong have dropped substantially since traffic lights were installed nearby. Picture: Adam McLean
The number of people caught speeding by the camera on the Princes Highway at North Wollongong have dropped substantially since traffic lights were installed nearby. Picture: Adam McLean

Fines from a North Wollongong speed camera have more than halved since a set of traffic lights was installed nearby.

The speed camera is located along the eastern side of the Princes Highway, near the corner of Exeter Avenue.

In October 2015 traffic lights were placed around 100 metres south at the intersection of the highway and Station Street as part of the Dan Murphy’s development.

In the 2014-15 financial year – which included the time the traffic lights were installed – it issued 2586 fines worth a total of $391,222.

In the two years since, the number of fines has plummeted.

According to Office of State Revenue figures, in the 2016-17 year 960 fines were issued – a fall of 62 per cent.

Revenue from the camera fell 55 per cent in the same period to $172,959.

The Centre for Road Safety said it expected drops in speeding fines at camera locations that saw traffic lights installed, because traffic would be required to slow down and come to a stop when a red light is shown.

When comparing the effectiveness of a camera, the Centre for Road Safety compares crash data from the most recent five-year period with the five years before the camera was installed.

This is carried out as part of an annual review of all speed cameras.

A spokesman from the centre said the 2016 review showed a 28 per cent decline in casualty crashes and a 47 drop in casualties since the camera’s installation.

The same review found speeding fines fell from around 1000 a month in June 2000, when the camera was installed, to approximately 200 infringements per month in early 2015 – before the traffic lights were installed.

The spokesman said the North Wollongong camera will be reviewed along with all the other fixed camera locations, as part of the upcoming 2017 review.

“Fixed speed cameras in NSW are placed at specific locations with a known crash history,” said the centre’s executive director Bernard Carlon.

“We continue to review the effectiveness of speed cameras every year as part of the NSW Government’s commitment to reducing trauma and serious injuries on our roads. 

“The 2016 Speed Camera Review showed overwhelmingly that the state’s speed cameras continue to improve road safety in NSW. 

“Our aim is to slow drivers down, not fine them and over 99 per cent of drivers in NSW do the right thing and pass speed cameras without being fined.”

He said all speed camera revenue went to the Community Road Safety Fund, which funds road safety programs like high visibility police operations and school zone flashing lights.

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