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More than one quarter of New South Wales’ speed cameras have been switched off today after a state government audit found they had no significant impact on road safety.

The audit, conducted by NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat, revealed that 38 of the state’s 141 speed cameras did little to improve safety.

Moving swiftly on the revelation, NSW Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay, ordered the cameras be switched off immediately, effective from this morning.

Mr Gay told reporters the government was only interested in operating speed cameras that could prove they had a positive impact on road safety.

“The premier indicated, with my support, that if we found that cameras in the state were not fulfilling a definitive road safety role, and were just seen as a revenue raiser, they would be removed,” Mr Gay said, as reported by AAP.

“The report indicates that 38 of the 141 cameras in NSW are not fulfilling that role – their primary role is revenue raising.

“As of this morning, I indicated to the RTA that those cameras are to be turned off. We indicated they would be removed and, as we have time, over the next month, we will remove those cameras.”

The 38 speed cameras reportedly generated $10 million per year in revenue for the NSW Government.

Mr Gay said there was a possibility the ineffective speed cameras could be relocated to sections of road where the public has concerns about speeding and safety.

Mr Achterstraat said there was “no evidence” these specific speed cameras had been erected primarily for revenue raising, but insisted that they “appear to have no significant road safety benefit”.

“It’s fair to say, on average, speed cameras are effective,” Mr Achterstraat said in a statement.

“But unfortunately we don’t live in a world of averages.

“My audit has shown that some of the speed cameras are highly effective, some are reasonably effective, but some don’t seem to be very effective at all.”

The full list of the speed cameras that were switched off this morning:

Newcastle Road – Lambton

Bangalow Road – Clunes

New England Highway – Murrurundi

New England Highway – Tilbuster

New England Highway – Quirindi

M4 Motorway – Wentworthville/Greystanes

Brunswick Valley Way – Ocean Shores

Delhi Road – Macquarie Park

Eastern Arterial Road – Gordon

Princes Highway – Broughton

New England Highway – Scone

Princes Highway – Nowra

New England Highway – Llangothlin

Princes Highway – Angledale

Pacific Highway – Kundabung

Pacific Highway – Urunga

Woy Woy Road – Kariong

Eastern Valley Way – North Willoughby

Hume Highway – Burwood

Bolong Road – Shoalhaven Heads

Warringah Road – Frenchs Forest

Manns Road – West Gosford

General Holmes Drive – Botany

Spit Road – Beauty Point/The Spit

Bruxner Highway – Alstonville

Hume Highway – Coolac

Hume Highway – Tarcutta

Pacific Highway – Banora Point

Pacific Highway – Herons Creek

Pacific Highway – Bundagen

President Avenue – Gymea

Carlingford Road – Epping

Blackwall Road – Woy Woy

North Ocean Beach Road – Woy Woy

Balgownie Road – Fairy Meadow

Sherwood Road – Merrylands West

Central Coast Highway – Bateau Bay

Great Western Highway – Parramatta

  • MattP

    Many years ago Peter Achterstraat worked for the Australian Taxation Office and was one of my tutors at University. He is a smart and intelligent guy.

    So it comes as no surprise he is involved in such a common sense review.

    Thanks Peter!

    • Yonny

      It’s a relief to finally have someone smart, intelligent and with common sense (I’ll take your word on this) look into speed cameras. For too long the subject has been the preserve of safety zealots like Dr Soames Job – and we all know what he thinks. I like to think old Jobby currently looks like he’s just sucked on a lemon, with the effectiveness of all his wonderful speed cameras being called into question.

      I suspect Mr Achterstraat chose his words carefully, for fear of upsetting more people than he needed to. The truth is (in my humble opinion), speed cameras have their place, but their use is too widespread and the benefits are often assumed and those assumptions are rarely checked. As an example of that, consider the speed cameras on the F3 northbound – do you really think they serve any useful purpose at all? And even if they did, it would probably indicate that parts of the F3 have substantial road design issues that no amount of speed cameras can fix.

    • Torque

      I once met with Mr Achterstraat and his assistants, they were very approachable, intelligent and logical. This audit has excellent results. Great work Peter and assistants.
      Wasn’t Soames Job the manager of the Greed Camera fantasy department?

  • Bob

    Are there really only 141 cameras in NSW, it feels like they’re everywhere! Maybe they aren’t including the safety cameras which are popping up left, right and centre!

  • Pauly

    So when will VicRoads in Victoria do the same?

    Bloody nanny state.

    • Lawrence

      When Peter Achterstraat move and relocate to Melbourne.
      or when more polices are caught overspeed or breaking lights…

  • AndrewF

    But that notorious camera on Cleveland St (the one that rakes in the most revenue) stays, apparently? Hmm… I mean,don’t get me wrong – turning these 38 cameras off is a step in the right direction. But most of them are in the middle of nowhere, so this won’t make a lot of difference to most of us, who live in the city.
    I wouldn’t be suprised if they were simply the least profitable ones.

    • Hung Low

      Yes AndrewF, they are probably looking to relocate these to a more profitable location, which overall works out cheaper and less conflicting than adding 38 new cameras to new locations!
      Most of these Sydney locations are crawling traffic anyway during the peaks, they are not making the money!

    • Matt M

      There’s one on Cleveland st? Where..?. I use that road a lot… Mind you if you get above 60 on that street it’s either 3am and 10 years ago, or flying.

      • AndrewF

        I meant the one in Sydney Boys school zone, between Sth Dowling and Anzac Pde. That stretch is still Cleveland St, as far I know… and the camera is so profitable and so controversial because the idiots made it a 50km/hr zone even outside of school hours – a wide, basically straight, 3 lanes in each direction road. So a lot of people get caught there.

        • Tiharne

          LOL I go through everyday and the signage is MASSIVE and the cameras are very conspicuous, plus theres two high schools and the school signs flash. You’d have to be retarded to speed there.

          • AndrewF

            Well I won’t argue with that – there are a lot of retards out there. That single camera netted 7 million dollars in one year period (google it if you care)

          • LN

            That stretch of road should not even be 50kmh and traffic does get clogged up on that part of the road…

    • Biker

      There is no such thing as an unprofitable speed camera.
      They all earned their money many times over!

  • Alexander

    I don’t live near or drive on roads with speed cameras regularly, so they don’t hugely affect me as I stick to the speed limit anyway, but what’s the point of having them if they’re proven to have little effect on safety and just make revenue? I say get rid of them all.

  • save it for the track

    As I have said before, many speed cameras are placed in the vicinity of where effective other forms of speed enforcement used to take place. At least now effective enforcement can now take place again in those areas. I can imagine some of the speeds that will now be detected in those areas. I am surprised though, as some of these locations HAVE had major accidents (including fatalities) in those areas PRIOR to the speed camera going in. I imagine there’ll be celebrations on the Central Coast, especially those that drive through Bateau Bay, with that being probably one of the most complained about variable speed zone cameras in the state.

  • Jober As A Sudge

    Great news they are getting rid of these ineffective cameras. However i fear we will see an increase in the amount of laughably named “Safety Cameras” popping up around the place. Please Uncle Barry…say it ain’t so!

  • Car Fanatic

    Nothing wrong with safety Cameras. I’ve seen dozens of people drive through red lights I’ve stopped at. Call it revenue raising if you like but if you get nicked by a safety camera, you’ve only got your self to blame.

    • Devil’s Advocate

      I agree. There is an intersection near the end of my street that has HEAPS of “red light” runners all the time. It would be easier for me to count the times where I HAVEN’T seen someone run a red light at this intersection. I would love for a combined “safety camera” to be installed there, they would cover the costs of installation in no time! The amount of close calls I have seen as both a pedestrian and in a vehicle……

    • AndrewF

      There is PLENTY wrong with ‘safety’ cameras: they mean drivers now blunder through intersections with their eyes glued to their speedos instead of watching the traffic around them. I would not be at all suprised if they actually *increased* the number of accidents, but where can you get these figures?

      • Matt M

        Sorry but if your flying through an intersection, red light or not, then your a fool. If you can’t watch the road and travel at the speed limit through an intersection then you need retraining. The amount of accidents I have seen because some tosser has flawed it to get through a amber/red light is crazy. I know when I’m in a rush and think if I flaw it I can make it, I now think, better not, safety cam might get me… Oh and I might smash into some innocent driver. Take some responsibility people.

    • Jack

      So what you’re suggesting is that in the unlikely event you remove your eyes from the speedo needle and notice the light turn orange, it’s safer to slam on the breaks than continue. I’ve got to tell you the “Saftey Camera” on New South Head Road in Rushcutters Bay has nearly caused several pileups.

      • Andrew M

        If you have to slam the brakes, you obviously didnt see the orange.
        They have a funny little orange light that warns a red light is about to appear giving you advice to stop if you can “safely”.
        If you make the right judgement in relation to your position and speed once you see the orange you wont be “slamming” on the brakes.

        If people rear end you they either arent watching your tail lights, watching the traffic or signals ahead or your tail lights arent working, or they are following too close
        All of those factors are more dangerous than a camera which documents a serious breach which can be factually linked to many accidents

      • Dwnzi

        Completely agree Jack.

  • Technofreak

    How the decision was made…

    “Oh look these cameras are only pulling in 30% of the revenue of these others cameras…hmmm.”
    “I know lets turn them off and move them over there so they will pull more revenue”
    “Seems that the high income cameras are in prime positions so we will replicate those conditions for these 38 cameras”

    “…yeah good one Barry, you’re a bloody genius!”

  • Car Fanatic

    You were there were you Techno?

    I doubt it.

  • Car Fanatic

    If you follow the road rules there would be no need for safety cameras.

    • AndrewF

      If road rules followed common sense, there would be no need for safety cameras either! Australia is no longer a penal colony – we are supposed to be a democracy and that means the laws should reflect the views of the community. If nobody wants to follow the law, that means the law is wrong.

      Take that speed camera on Cleveland St – 7 million dollars collected in one year! Yes, people are idiots to be caught there.. but it also tells you something else: so many people didn’t see the point of slowing down to 50km/hr. So who is more likely to be wrong: thousands of people who are there on the spot – or one planner in his office?

      • Devil’s Advocate

        So there shouldn’t be any traffic lights at all and we should just let people work it out for themesleves then AndrewF? Lots of people break the law by not stopping at a red light so does that mean that that law is wrong? We can’t use stop signs either because hardly anyone obeys that law either.
        Come over to the intersection near my place and I will show you lots of blatant red light running. Going by your philosophy that law must be wrong as lots of people don’t want to follow it…. The same things could be said of drunk/drug driving. I just hope that wasn’t a serious comment…

        • Devil’s Advocate

          I don’t disagree and understand with what you are getting at, however it is not really a blanket statement and not as black and white as you make it out to be.

      • Bill

        Could you please tell me what makes you think this is a democracy? The word “democracy” or “democratic” is not mentioned in the Australian Constitution, nor the Electoral Acts of the Commonwealth and NSW.

      • Dwnzi

        Best point thus far.

  • wayne kerr

    General Holmes Drive – Botany. About time they switched this off, it’s located after a downhill slope near the entrance to a tunnel. Roads are wide, straight and inaccessible to pedestrians.

  • Shak

    All i can say is Huzzah! Everything this new Government does makes me feel so much better about my vote!

  • marty

    Pacific Highway – Bundagen Was removed in 2008 when the new bonville bypass was opened

  • CRS200

    So what happens to the Mobile speed cameras?

    Haven’t seen them around will they come back, because if they do i will be hilarious…

    Mobile speed cameras are the real evil ones those are Revenue raising without a doubt.

    • LN

      they are still around…

      where I live… at least 3 times a week they are at this one spot for around 3 hours.

      Last week when I was heading up to bathurst via Oberon, I saw one on the Jenolan Caves road and the next day I saw one on the Hume Hwy at Bankstown.

  • vti07

    38 traditional speed cameras may have been switched off but many safety cameras have been introduced. These have a greater chance of catching a speeding driver (especially as some intersections are poorly signposted).

    • Joof

      Poorly signposted???

      You mean the Amber and Red Lights dont stand out enough…?

      Or do you actually believe you need a speed sign to be located at the intersection to tell you what speed you should be doing?

      Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the reduction in speed cameras, but having attended many traffic crashes at intersections to rescue trapped vehicle occupants (and we generally only go to the bad ones) I can’t for one second hold any sympathy or support for people who drive like THEY own the road, or do not care enough about others to stay alert.

      The overwhelming theme from all the naysayers here is that they want the cameras gone, an no enforcement of anything, using the ‘Revenue Raising’ tag to defend it all.

      Grow up people. Everyone hates the law until it affects them (injury, loss of loved ones) and then by hell they want someone to pay for doing the wrong thing.

      With the number of people running red lights these days, I think theres a definate place for safety cameras. It seems the Amber lights have meant “Speed up to beat the red” lately, not “Slow down to stop unless unsafe” they were intended and designed to mean…

      • vti07

        I have seen many people drive off on a red light (unintentionally) as if it was green. So for some people, traffic lights don’t stand out enough. On the topic of signposting, it would be preferable to have no speed camera warning signs at all, this should modify everyones driving behaviour. Cameras can then be placed at random intersections.

  • Aussie bender

    I hereby announce that NSW Labor is officially DEAD…….

    • Hung Low

      Now we just need the RTA to die!

  • Mariusz

    To them Safety means more people caught speeding. So they will relocate them to better use their Safety features.

  • Car Fanatic

    AndrewF, regardless of what those caught think the rules are, the sign post says 50 and the camera is there to catch those who speed.

    Now 7 million raised in one year equates to $19,000 a day. Given the lowest speeding fine is $93, that means 206 people are caught every twenty four hours. Approx 50,000 cars a day use that road so 0.4% of daily drivers are caught speeding. That’s hardly a majority. So if 99.6% of people can obey the rules I suggest the 0.4% deserve to be fined for speeding.

  • Car Fanatic

    I’m with AndrewM on this and if the camera on New South Head road has almost caused accidents, I suggest the drivers need to pay more attention.

  • Chucky

    Well I am glad I actually voted for liberal this time. (after 15 odd years)

  • chook

    If we know the name of the companies who make these revenue contraptions and if theyre common brand names of electrical goods we buy then we ought to boycott those brand names when we go shopping . Anyone who cuts a deal with a government department for the sale and maintenance of these cameras are parasites , same as those who sit on the roadside in the mobile units !! . They really need to find another job !!

  • Car Fanatic

    Lol, just saw a car get nabbed by a safety camera at the corner of Riseley and Canning in Applecross. Genius!

  • Rumps

    Firstly, I think speed cameras can be effective if put in danger zones where excessive speed causes accidents.

    Secondly, I think safety cameras especially catching those that break red lights are effective.

    Do I think the same principle? As long as you follow the road rules, you shouldn’t be worried about the presence of speed cameras? Yes

    But the problem I have with speed cameras is that while countries such as Germany or Norway advance their technology and speed camera calibration, we don’t, and this is where speed cameras become more revenue raising and less about the actual point of speed.

    In addition, the problem with speed cameras is purely psychological. People who arn’t afraid of getting caught will gladly pass a speed camera and not even look twice at the infringement notice posted to them.

    The point of this is that infringement notices and revenue raising don’t speak to driver about road safety, but I think good old fashioned police officers do, when someone tells you you’ve done something wrong, you take it more personally than a letter from the SRDO.

    I believe in speed cameras, but only for the right place and purpose, I believe more in community policing and using them to bring drivers to account for their mistakes/ law breaking.

  • bruiser

    Don’t get too excited about the list…the speed camera slated for removal at Bundagen (south of Coffs Harbour) hasn’t even been there for at least two years since the Pacific Highway was re-routed!

  • Brian

    The trouble with speed cameras is, they mainly catch the sleepy, sick, those that are stressed out with to much on there minds, those who are suffering from depression. Any one with to much on there mind. Most young ones speeding are fully alert to where the speed cameras are.
    With so many changing speed signs, some times it hard to remember what speed zone your in.
    A person can be not speeding, maybe going slower than the posted speed limit. He then passes a unseen speed sign and is classed as speeding.

    There needs to be a colour coded guide post or painted edge line, so that a driver always knows what speed they should be doing.
    With traffic lights, the system need to be improved so that a driver knows from a further distance when the lights will change. Not 3 or 5 seconds before when your under power. 16 seconds, would be a better warning time, with the first 8 seconds a flashing amber.
    Why do the idiots who place speed restrictions signs at the bottom of hills or half way up causing traffic to wast their momentum speed. This is OK where trafic needs to slow for a intersection, but many a time this is not the case, like coming into a town. Just 1 stupidly placed sign can cause huge amounts of extra Carbon pollution into the air, plus wast fuel.

    Dose any one with any influence read this page ?

  • Sam

    In the past 10 years I have been caught speeding less than 15klms over the speed limit 3 times from speed cameras. 2 of these were amoung the 38 speed cameras identified as revenue raising. Why can’t I claim back the fines I was forced to pay.

  • save it for the track

    Maybe if you had noticed all the warning signs leading up to them you wouldn’t have been booked. To be ‘done’ by fixed speed cameras in NSW you have to have your head where the sun doesn’t shine. Now you simply know 38 locations where fixed cameras are no more.
    Most traffic records I see with under 15km/h or generally with more than two fixed camera speed tickets belong to those in their twilight years….

  • Graeme

    Cash cows! cash cows! and the new super cash cow that will yield greater “richer” milk for the thirsty government. Yeap! now theres this u-beaut cow, referred to as a “safety camera” that will do wonders for the revenue folk of the state government.
    Well, cash cows (speed/red light cameras)are they just revenue raisers; do they actually do anygood!?! Maybe!
    Speed cameras/red light cameras do a great job at revenue raising. The new safety camera concept will prove to be one the greatest money spinners ever! For these U-beaut cows theres very little warning by way of signs.
    What does work very well is not the speed/red light camera perse.
    What does work as an excellent deterant is the actual signage on approach to speed/red light cameras to slow drivers down.
    Eg. Memorial drive 80km limit; Bolong road; Princes Highway on the way to Berry from Gerringong; then at the southern end of Berry ie the “dogs leg” curb speeding drivers.
    Heading south after crossing the Nowra bridge has excellent signage and does an excellent job of slowing down drivers.
    It is the traditional signage concerning speed/red light cameras that does a great job. Not the new safety camera revenue raiser that, irrespective of who says what, the bottom line is, it is simply a great way to get money.