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by Karl Peskett

In a move to be applauded, the NSW opposition has announced its election policy to revise speed limits in certain areas, as well as investigate speed cameras and decide whether they are truly saving lives or just revenue raisers.

The plan involves raising speed limits on major single-lane country highways from 100km/h to 110km/h and is aiming to reduce confusion about speed limits which currently catch motorists out – and is a subsequent cash cow for the government – with their illogical locations.

A revision would see situations like the 72 kilometre stretch of Great Western Highway become more progressive than its current state of 40 speed zone changes.

Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell told Fairfax that his Coalition is opposed to the NSW governments attitude to motorists, in which they are seen as revenue generators.

“Speed limits should be about safety and saving lives, not about revenue raising,” Mr O’Farrell said. “After 16 years of Labor, the emphasis is on speed cameras, rather than a visible police presence on the state’s roads.”

NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner said an audit of the speed limit would begin straight after the election if the Coalition won power and that the project would be completed in the first year of their government.

“The Keneally-Labor Government has chosen revenue raising over road safety, cold cash over common sense,” Mr Stoner said. “We believe that clearer and more consistent speed limits will not only increase driver compliance and safety, but will also improve traffic flow and help to reduce travel times for motorists.”

If you want to be scared, here are the figures for the last five years of speeding fines from cameras in New South Wales: 2,669,373 motorists were fined for speeding, generating a total of – wait for it – $322,485,773.

The 2007-08 financial year was the best for the NSW Government, in which 678,001 speeding drivers made $79,805,551 for the government.

Areas specifically targeted will be:

  • Cleveland St in Sydney: the highest earning speed camera in the state after the limit was cut in 2007 from 60km/h to 50km/h.
  • The M2 motorway at the Epping Tunnel speed zone change from 80km/h to 70km/h. The speed limit in the opposite direction is 100km/h.
  • The Princes Hwy at Heathcote: the limit changes from 70km/h to 50km/h. Other parts of the Princes Hwy will be investigated.
  • The Anzac Bridge’s zone change from 70km/h to 60km/h.

Will it be a make or break policy for the NSW opposition? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.




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