Centre for Road Safety

Your questions answered

  1. Why are average speed cameras installed in NSW?
  2. How does average speed enforcement work?
  3. Where are average speed enforcement lengths installed?
  4. Are there plans to roll out more average speed camera lengths across NSW?
  5. What vehicles are affected by average speed enforcement?
  6. Can this technology be used for detecting speeding cars?
  7. Why are heavy vehicles targeted?
  8. Are there new offences?
  9. Is there a warning period for newly installed average speed cameras?
  10. Is there any warning approaching these enforcement lengths?
  11. Can police enforce speeding or other offences in average speed enforcement lengths?
  12. Can average speed technology enforce speeding where there are multiple speed limits on an average speed enforcement length?
  13. How have sites for average speed enforcement been selected?
  14. How do we know average speed enforcement technology is accurate?
  15. What does the camera record?
  16. What if I wasn’t the driver at the time of the offence?

1. Why are average speed cameras installed in NSW?

Average speed cameras save lives. They enforce heavy vehicle speeding and are installed at locations throughout NSW.

In the 25 regional locations where average speed cameras are currently operating there has been a 44 per cent reduction in deaths from crashes involving heavy vehicles.

2. How does average speed enforcement work?

Average speed enforcement works by measuring the amount of time it takes a heavy vehicle to drive between two points and then calculates the average speed of the vehicle. If the vehicle's average speed is higher than the speed limit for the length of road, the driver will receive a penalty for speeding.

All average speed enforcement lengths are certified by a registered land surveyor to ensure the accuracy of average speed calculations. The distance used when calculating a vehicle’s average speed across an average speed enforcement length will be the shortest practicable distance, which ensures that there is no possibility that a driver’s speed can be overestimated.

3.Where are average speed enforcement lengths installed?

There are 25 average speed camera enforcement lengths in regional NSW. These average speed enforcement lengths are on known heavy vehicle routes – including the Pacific Highway, the New England Highway, the Hume Highway, the Newell Highway, Mount Ousley Road and Picton Road – that have an over-representation of heavy vehicle crashes.

Our Average speed camera enforcement map shows the positions of all average speed lengths in NSW.

4. Are there plans to roll out more average speed camera lengths across NSW?

Yes, as part of the Road Safety Plan 2021, average speed cameras are being expanded into metropolitan areas to address risks associated with greater truck movements. Average speed cameras are being installed on motorways and in tunnels across the Sydney Metropolitan region.

These locations include the Cross City tunnel, Eastern Distributor, Lane Cove Tunnel, M2 Motorway, M5 Motorway, M5 East Tunnel, M7 Motorway, Northconnex, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, WestConnex M4, WestConnex M4 – M5 Link and WestConnex M8.

5. What vehicles are affected by average speed enforcement?

Heavy vehicles and trailers with a Gross Vehicle Mass greater than 4.5 tonnes are subject to average speed enforcement.

6. Can this technology be used for detecting speeding cars?

Average speed enforcement is only used to enforce heavy vehicle speeding. Fixed, red-light and mobile speed cameras are used to enforce light vehicle speeding, while NSW Police continue to enforce speeding across the road network.

7. Why are heavy vehicles targeted?

Average speed enforcement targets heavy vehicles because of their size and mass any crash is a serious one. Heavy vehicles make up only 2.5 per cent of vehicle registrations, and 8.3 per cent of kilometres travelled by NSW vehicles, however, are involved in about 18 per cent of road fatalities.

Average speed enforcement is also more suited to the long distances heavy vehicles travel.

8. Are there new offences?

Average speed enforcement is used to enforce existing speeding laws, however, an additional demerit point is incurred by heavy vehicle drivers detected speeding using average speed enforcement. This is because offences detected by average speed enforcement demonstrate a continued intention to speed.

9. Is there a warning period for newly installed average speed cameras?

There is a two-month warning period from the date the average speed camera is turned on. For all speeding offences detected during the warning phase, letters will be sent to the vehicle owner.

While average speed cameras don’t enforce speed during the warning period, fixed and mobile speed cameras can detect speeding anytime anywhere and complement ongoing speed enforcement activities by NSW Police.

10. Is there any warning approaching these enforcement lengths?

Yes, average speed enforcement lengths are signposted. In regional locations there’s one advance warning sign on each approach that displays a camera image and the text “AVERAGE SPEED SAFETY CAMERA”.

On metropolitan motorways the same type of signage will be used along the motorway to indicate the presence of average speed enforcement.

On the approach to tunnels where average speed cameras are used signage will not change, there is already advanced warning that speed cameras are used in tunnels.

11. Can police enforce speeding or other offences in average speed enforcement lengths?

It is not intended that average speed enforcement replaces police enforcement on heavy vehicle routes. Police enforce a wide range of offences, including speeding, and for the safety of road users it is necessary that this enforcement continues in average speed enforcement lengths.

Speeding infringements and suspensions issued by police will continue to apply regardless of whether the driver also receives a speeding infringement from the average speed enforcement camera.

12. Can average speed technology enforce speeding where there are multiple speed limits on an average speed enforcement length?

Average speed enforcement lengths enforce the sign-posted speed limit along that length. Where there are multiple posted speed limits, the 'average speed limit’ will be calculated. The ‘average speed limit’ is calculated by measuring the part of an average speed enforcement length that each of the different speed limits applies to.

The distance of each part and their respective speed limits are used in a legislated formula that will calculate the ‘average speed limit’ allowed for by the average speed enforcement length.

13. How have sites for average speed enforcement been selected?

Average speed enforcement lengths have been selected using criteria developed by the Centre for Road Safety in Transport for NSW. Site selection is based upon several factors including the frequency and severity of heavy vehicle crashes, heavy vehicle speeds and road conditions.

14. How do we know average speed enforcement technology is accurate?

Average speed cameras are subject to rigorous testing, certification and calibration in accordance with legislated requirements. Transport for NSW has developed strict operational guidelines for average speed cameras to ensure that they are robust and accurate.

The distance used when calculating a vehicle’s average speed across an average speed enforcement length is the shortest practicable distance, which ensures that there is no possibility that a driver’s speed can be overestimated.

15. What does the camera record?

Average speed cameras record photographs of vehicles as they pass the start and end points of an enforcement length. The cameras also record the licence plate of the vehicle and the exact time the camera took the photograph.

16. What if I wasn’t the driver at the time of the offence?

If you were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, you should provide the name and details of the driver by completing the statutory declaration form provided with the penalty notice and forward it to Revenue NSW for processing.

If you wish to see photographs of your offence you can view these online on the Revenue NSW website free of charge.

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