Centre for Road Safety

Positive results

As part of the NSW Government’s commitment to reducing road trauma and serious injuries, the effectiveness of speed camera programs in NSW is reviewed each year. The 2015 speed camera review shows that speed cameras continue to deliver positive road safety benefits.

Mobile speed cameras

Overall, the trend in road fatalities and annual speed surveys shows that the mobile speed camera program continues to deliver positive road safety benefits, compared with results before the reintroduction of the mobile speed camera program in 2010.

The 2014 road toll of 307 fatalities on NSW roads is the lowest annual figure since 1923. This is 32 per cent lower than in 2009 (453 fatalities), before the reintroduction of the mobile speed camera program.

More than 99 per cent of vehicles that pass mobile speed cameras are not infringed for speeding. This high rate of compliance has remained consistent since 2010.

There was also a 39 per cent reduction in speed related fatalities from 2009 to 2014, and results from the 2014 speed surveys show speeding remains below the level recorded in 2009.

In 2014, the percentage of light vehicles exceeding the speed limit by more than 10km/h has dropped in all speed zones compared with 2013. This reduction builds on impressive results from previous years. In 2014, fewer light vehicles exceeded the speed limit by more than 10km/h, compared with all years from 2009 to 2013.

Although the percentage of heavy vehicles exceeding the speed limit by up to 10km/h increased in some speed zones compared with 2013, the results still compare favourably with previous years. Significant reductions in heavy vehicles exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km/h were recorded in 2014. This resulted in the lowest percentages over the entire five-year period in 40km/h, 50km/h, 60km/h and 90km/h zones, and helped maintain low levels in 100km/h zones.

Fixed speed cameras

Overall, when comparing the five years before the fixed speed cameras were installed with the most recent five years there has been a:

  • 38 per cent reduction in the number of casualty crashes
  • 91 per cent reduction in fatalities
  • 42 per cent reduction in injuries at these camera locations

The reduction in total casualties represents a saving of $526.1 million to the community.

Of the 94 fixed speed camera locations, 86 were found to offer continued safety benefits. One location, at Hartley on the Great Western Highway, was identified last year for review. This will occur after roadworks at the location are completed. One location has been recommended for removal as it no longer provides road safety benefits, and would be better relocated to a higher priority site. Six locations were identified for further review. The eight locations for review or removal are:

  • Bonville, Pine Creek Way – Remove
  • Bomaderry, Bolong Road – Review
  • Brogo, Princes Highway – Review
  • Burringbar, Tweed Valley Way – Review
  • North Narrabeen, Pittwater Road – Review
  • Queanbeyan, Lanyon Drive – Review
  • Rydalmere, Victoria Road – Review
  • Hartley, Great Western Highway – Review after roadworks

Cameras at three other locations were removed because of major roadworks and will be reviewed after the projects have been completed. These locations are:

  • Berry, Princes Highway
  • Foxground, Princes Highway
  • Terrigal, Terrigal Drive

The 10 highest infringing fixed speed cameras were all found to reduce crashes and casualties. All had high compliance rates, with more than 99 per cent of drivers passing the cameras without being infringed for speeding.

Red-light speed cameras

Analysis of the red-light speed camera program shows encouraging results in changing driver behaviour. Overall, when comparing the five years before red-light speed cameras were installed with the period since their installation, for each camera location there has been a:

  • 34 per cent reduction in casualty crashes
  • 39 per cent reduction in total casualties at these locations including:
    • 55 per cent reduction in fatalities
    • 32 per cent reduction in serious injuries
    • 45 per cent reduction in moderate injuries
    • 36 per cent reduction in minor/other injuries
    • 44 per cent reduction in pedestrian casualties

The reduction in casualties represents a total saving of $95.1 million to the community.

At Cabramatta, the red-light speed camera at the Cumberland Highway and St Johns Road has been operating for more than five years. Since the camera was installed, there has been a 16 per cent reduction in casualty crashes and a 37 per cent reduction in casualties at this location.

The 10 highest infringing red-light speed cameras all had high compliance rates, with more than 99 per cent of drivers passing the cameras without being infringed for running red lights or speeding. Where cameras have been operating for longer than two years, infringements have generally decreased over time.

Average speed cameras

Analysis of average speed camera enforcement lengths (formerly known as point-to-point speed enforcement lengths) shows that there has been a low number of heavy vehicle crashes since cameras started operating. Infringement data for typical speed offences in the 24 average speed enforcement lengths shows a high level of compliance and a low number of infringements.

Annual reviews

Since our first speed camera review in 2012, we have reviewed the effectiveness of NSW speed cameras each year. Detailed information is available in the NSW speed camera program reviews.