Centre for Road Safety

Road safety benefits

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 2014 speed camera review shows that speed cameras continue to deliver positive road safety benefits.

Fixed speed cameras

A total of 95 fixed speed camera locations were reviewed, with 93 locations shown to be effective from the initial analysis. This positive result shows the review, now in its third year, has systematically identified ineffective fixed speed cameras for decommissioning. Overall at these fixed speed camera locations, there was a:

  • 42 per cent reduction in the number of crashes
  • 90 per cent reduction in deaths
  • 40 per cent reduction in injuries

This reduction in casualties represents a saving of $445.74 million to the community.

Two locations less effective

Speed cameras were not as effective at the these locations:

  1. Richmond Road, Berkshire Park
  2. Great Western Highway, Hartley

A field inspection will be completed by the end of the year at the Berkshire Park location with a decision made on camera effectiveness and alternative options to improve safety identified by February 2015. A field inspection will occur at the Great Western Highway, Hartley after the current road works are finished.

Mobile speed cameras

Overall, the trend in road fatalities and annual speed surveys demonstrates that the mobile speed camera program is delivering positive road safety benefits, compared with results before the reintroduction of the mobile speed camera program in 2010. The ongoing impact of the mobile speed camera program is reflected in NSW’s provisional 2013 road toll of 339 fatalities. This result is the lowest annual figure since 1924, when there were 309 fatalities.

Results from the 2013 speed surveys show speeding continues to remain below the level of 2009, before the reintroduction of the mobile speed camera program in 2010. The percentage of light vehicles exceeding the speed limit by up to 10 km/h in 2013 was lower when comparing 2013 results to those from 2009 to 2011. The comparisons of the 2013 results with those from 2012 were more mixed, with further reductions in most speed zones, but slight increases in some zones.

Significant gains were achieved in reducing heavy vehicles exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km/h, with the lowest percentages achieved over the entire five-year review period across most zones.
More than 99 per cent of vehicles passing mobile speed cameras were not infringed for speeding.  This high rate of compliance has remained consistent since 2010 when the program was reintroduced.

Red-light speed cameras

The red-light speed camera program shows encouraging results in changing driver behaviour. Overall, at the 125 intersections with red-light speed cameras there was a:

  • 24 per cent reduction in crashes
  • 49 per cent reduction in pedestrian casualties
  • 36 per cent reduction in all casualties

This reduction in casualties represents a saving of $70.3 million to the community.
There were no fatalities at signalised intersections with red-light speed camera enforcement in 2013.

Average speed cameras

Early analysis of average speed enforcement lengths (formerly known as point-to-point enforcement lengths) shows that there was a low number of heavy vehicle crashes since camera operations began. There has also been a high level of compliance with speed limits on the average speed camera lengths, with low numbers of heavy vehicles detected speeding by average speed enforcement. It is too early to evaluate the program as only 21 out of 25 lengths were rolled out by the end of 2013.

Previous reviews

The NSW Centre for Road Safety has previously undertaken reviews of the effectiveness of mobile, red-light speed and fixed speed cameras in NSW. The first annual speed camera review was published in 2012.

More information

Detailed information is available in the NSW speed camera program reviews.