As some of us may be already aware through various television ads and digital sign post updates, the NSW Government is releasing six new mobile speed cameras on July 19. The white Ford Territorys will be placed in common traffic hot spots with no prior signposted warnings, although their locations are said to be updated on the RTA’s website.
The new cameras will operate day and night and in all weather conditions thanks to infrared detection and photography equipment. The Territorys will be marked with a sign on the side saying ‘safety speed check’ and they’ll be able to detect up to six cars at once and issue fines accordingly. The cameras are said to only issue warnings during the first month of operation.
The latest budget has revealed how much money the government is actually planning on making out of a revised safety campaign, which includes mobile cameras and increased fines – the NSW state government appears to be just as interested in the profit numbers as the reduced death toll numbers.
The figures released in the state’s budget expect revenue from traffic fines to be almost doubled in the years to come, from $295 million (2008-2009) to $570 million (2011-12), with the help of these new mobile cameras.
Now, the debate about whether or not these things actually reduce the road toll is one that will go on for many years, but it seems so blatantly obvious these days it’s almost at the point where speed camera revenue is actually available on the stock market, and anyone can invest as the price of safety literally rises and rises. How would you feel if the guys partly behind the entire speed camera operation were in fact a bank. Don’t be so surprised.
Now hoping to help reduce the death toll is the long-time road safety advocate and driver training institution, ‘the millionaires’ factory’, also known as the Macquarie Bank. It’s prepared to invest 275 million of its loving, sympathy-coated dollars into the operation… just to show how much it cares.
The government currently contracts Redflex (partly owned by Macquarie Bank – 10 percent) for the speed camera business, but the Macquarie Bank has seen this new operation as more than just a safety campaign, it’s a prospective business opportunity and is hoping to purchase the entire contract off Redflex in the near future.
The immediate question is, why is the government allowing such a monopoly of a large-scale safety concern to occur, shouldn’t the money go back into the RTA and NSW police, not into a profiting institution primarily established to make money?
And, how are the mobile speed cameras directly going to reduce crashes on the roads, do they deploy a safety net to catch undereducated drivers from veering off the road?
How do you feel about the involvement of Macquarie Bank in your “road safety”?