A petition including 13,500 signatures has been submitted to the NSW Government asking for all traffic-related fine revenue to be directed back into improving road safety. The petition was set up by the NRMA and the NSW Police Association.
All data and signatures submitted to the NSW Government was sorted last week by State Member for Oatley, Mark Coure MP, after being collected in the lead up to the March 26 State Election. A full debate on the proposal is set to take place early in 2012.
Both parties would like to see 100 per cent of traffic fine revenue, including everything from speeding to parking infringements, to be directed back into services that contribute towards increasing road safety.
The proposal wants 40 per of revenue to go into recruiting 200 fresh NSW highway patrol officers, 40 per cent directed back into roads and infrastructure, and the remaining 20 per cent to be fed into improving education.
The question is, why do the NRMA and NSW Police only want to see 20 per cent of traffic fine revenue directed into providing better education, behind putting more police on the roads? According to Police Association of NSW president Scott Weber,
"The best way to stop speeding drivers is through a more visible presence of highway patrol officers on our roads, and government policy needs to reflect that. Sending someone a ticket in the mail three weeks later is no way to prevent them from speeding."Only a highly skilled highway patrol officer can crack down on speeding as well as other dangerous behaviours such as reckless driving, drink-driving and not wearing a seatbelt"
Revenue from fines is expected to top $300 million this financial year. Seeing this being directed into road safety has brought about strong community support. NRMA President Wendy Machin said,
"The most effective way to end the debate around the validity of speed cameras in NSW is to redirect all fines back into keeping people safe on our roads. It is being done to some extent in other states and it's time we did the same here in NSW."
What do you think? Is this a good step forward? Perhaps a higher priority should be placed on education to help eliminate 'dangerous behavious' in the first place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.