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Centre for Road Safety

Cameras make a difference

Following the release of the Auditor-General’s audit of speed camera programs, a commitment was made by the NSW Government to annually monitor the effectiveness of speed camera programs in NSW. The 2013 speed camera review had the following results:

Fixed speed cameras

A total of 96 fixed speed camera locations were reviewed, with 91 locations found to be effective from the initial analysis. Overall at these locations, there was a:

  • 42 per cent reduction in the number of crashes
  • 90 per cent reduction in fatalities
  • 41 per cent reduction in injuries.

Five locations less effective

Speed cameras were not as effective at the following five locations:

  1. Hume Highway, Ashfield (school zone)
  2. Hume Highway, Bankstown (school zone)
  3. Fairfield Street, Fairfield East
  4. McCaffrey Drive, Rankin Park
  5. Pacific Highway, Sandgate

Community consultation and field inspections involving Roads and Maritime Services, the NSW Police Force and NRMA Motoring & Services were conducted at these locations in late 2013. The reviews considered crash history, traffic volumes, road conditions, land use, high-risk road user behaviour and community feedback.

With the exception of the Pacific Highway, Sandgate, the cameras at these locations continue to deliver a road safety benefit and will remain in place. The cameras at the Pacific Highway, Sandgate will be switched off and removed once alternative works to address a number of other road safety concerns are completed.

Mobile speed cameras

Early results show for the first 12 months of the mobile speed camera program there was a 19 per cent reduction in fatalities and a general decrease in the proportion of vehicles speeding of about 6 per cent in most speed zones. Overall, the trend in road fatalities and annual speed survey results for 2012 showed that the small-scale interim mobile speed camera program delivers positive road safety benefits, compared with results before the reintroduction of the mobile speed camera program in 2010.

However, the increase in speeding recorded in the 2012 annual speed surveys, compared with 2010 and 2011 results, provides evidence that the general deterrence provided by mobile speed cameras can be improved by a larger program. A gradual return to pre-2010 results may occur in future years without an increased enforcement presence.

Red-light speed cameras

At the 91 intersections with red-light speed cameras there was a 23 per cent reduction in crashes and a 30 per cent reduction in casualties. Recommendations on individual locations have not been made because the program has been in place for less than three years. There is not enough crash and casualty data to provide conclusive recommendations about camera effectiveness. The ongoing performance of individual red-light speed cameras will continue to be monitored.

Average speed cameras

While it is too early to evaluate the program as only 19 out of 25 lengths were rolled out by the end of 2012, overall there has been a high level of compliance with speed limits on the average speed lengths (formerly known as point-to-point lengths), with low numbers of heavy vehicles detected speeding by average speed enforcement.

Previous reviews of NSW speed camera programs

The first annual speed camera review was published in 2012. Previously, we have reviewed the effectiveness of mobile, red-light speed and fixed speed cameras in NSW. Detailed information is available in the NSW speed camera program reviews.