An Illawarra group have hit back against unmarked mobile speed cameras by harnessing the power of social media.
The Facebook group 'Illawarra Mobile Speed Camera Locations' encourages followers to send in their sightings of unmarked mobile speed cameras, which the group's administrators log on google maps.
The result is a map that identifies locations by frequency of mobile speed camera presence, in addition to live camera alerts on Facebook.
The group hasn't been popular with everyone, but its creator said he was motivated by a desire to help people, and push back against a program that he believes does nothing to save lives.
"I've never gotten a speeding fine, I'm not reactionary," he said.
"I just don't think getting fined for going 5k over the limit on Towradgi Road is justified.
"The cameras don't pick up mobile phone use, which I would argue is more dangerous in that area, and because they're unmarked they don't encourage drivers to slow down.
"If someone is speeding, they could cause an accident two mintues after passing an unmarked camera and getting a fine in the mail two weeks later does not prevent that."
Accidents causing injury in the Wollongong region have been in decline since 2015, dropping from 452 in 2015 to 362 in 2019, however, fatal accidents rose from five in 2015 to seven in 2019.
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The 'Illawarra Mobile Speed Camera Locations' administrator believe there is an alternative program that could reduce the number of serious accidents.
"At high risk stretches of road like Appin, you could have a permanent sign saying there may be a mobile speed camera in the next five kilometres," he said.
"So users stay at the speed limit along that dangerous stretch because they know the camera is coming up, but they don't know where."
Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced the removal of the signs warning of mobile speed cameras last year.
Transport for NSW deputy secretary for safety, environment and education, Tara McCarthy, said research backed the use of unmarked mobile speed cameras.
"Independent modelling by the Monash University Accident Research Centre has identified that these enhancements may save between 34 and 43 lives and around 600 serious injuries in this state each and every year," she said.
"Helping to further improve road safety, all fines will be reinvested through the Community Road Safety Fund, with a focus on safety upgrades such as rumble strips and safety barriers."
The operation and maintenance of speed cameras and vehicles is outsourced to third-party private contractor, Melbourne-based company Redflex Traffic Systems Pty Ltd.
The contract is worth $112,046,000 over five years, from 2018-2023.
Since 2018, speeding cameras in NSW have netted $1,453,108 in revenue.
The introduction of unmarked cameras in the Illawarra resulted in a 6000 per cent jump in fines in some places.
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