Centre for Road Safety

Speed camera enforcement is one of the most effective, evidence-based measures to reduce speeding, save lives and prevent injuries. Research shows that best practice mobile speed camera programs with sufficient hours, a high number of enforcement sites, unmarked and unsigned operations and highly randomised deployment can deliver consistent, network wide 20-30 per cent reductions in casualty crashes.

On 19 November 2020, Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole announced changes to NSW’s mobile speed camera program, which include increased enforcement hours, as well as a reduction in high visibility livery on vehicles and the removal of warning signs.

These changes bring NSW into line with how other Australian jurisdictions run their programs and better practice, as outlined in the Mobile speed camera operations in other Australian jurisdictions: Research Report (PDF, 367Kb)), and were recommended by the NSW Auditor General.

Monash University Accident Research Centre's independent analysis (PDF, 1Mb) identified that these enhancements to the NSW mobile speed camera program may save between 34 and 43 lives and prevent around 600 serious injuries in NSW each year.

We want people to know they can be caught anywhere, anytime on the NSW road network, to reduce speed-related trauma on NSW roads.

Your questions answered

  1. Why are speed cameras used in NSW?
  2. What is the scale of the program?
  3. Why is the program outsourced?
  4. Are there signs to warn motorists approaching the cameras?
  5. What happens to the revenue from mobile speed cameras?
  6. How do we know the cameras are accurate?
  7. What do the cameras record?
  8. What if I wasn’t the driver at the time of the offence?

1. Why are mobile speed cameras used in NSW?

Mobile speed cameras work like fixed speed cameras, but are moved in vehicles from location to location. Research shows that best practice mobile speed camera programs with sufficient hours, a high number of enforcement sites, unmarked and unsigned operations and highly randomised deployment can deliver consistent, network wide 20-30 per cent reductions in casualty crashes.This is because they generate an anywhere-anytime expectation of detection, and maximise deterrence of speeding behaviour across the road network, not just at camera locations.

The NSW Government recognises that mobile speed cameras effectively reduce speeding and lead to a reduction in crashes. Mobile speed cameras are a main element of the NSW Speed Camera Strategy and support police operations and other types of camera enforcement in NSW.

2. What is the scale of the program?

Mobile speed cameras operate state-wide and enforcement can be conducted at any time and on all types of roads.

Changes to the MSC program announced on 19 November 2020 include an increased number of enforcement hours and camera locations, which will continue to be added to over time.

Current locations of all mobile speed cameras in NSW will continue to be published on the Centre for Road Safety website.

3. Why is the program outsourced?

The mobile speed camera program is managed by Transport for NSW in close partnership with the NSW Police Force. The operation and maintenance of speed cameras and vehicles is outsourced to a third-party private contractor.

Technicians help operate mobile speed cameras. They drive the vehicle to the location, set up the camera and make sure it works correctly.

Speed enforcement is an automated process conducted by the camera. A vehicle’s speed is detected using an approved speed measurement device such as a radar. If a vehicle is detected speeding, a digital image of the vehicle is recorded from which all details about the speeding vehicle can be extracted. This image is used to generate an infringement.

Transport for NSW works with the NSW Police Force to manage the deployment of mobile speed cameras. The program delivers maximum road safety benefits and supports police enforcement activities. Mobile speed camera locations are based on road safety criteria determined by Transport for NSW in consultation with the NSW Police Force and the NRMA.

The certification of speed measuring devices is managed by Transport for NSW to ensure the accuracy and reliability of mobile speed cameras. Revenue NSW is responsible for processing and issuing infringements to ensure that a third party will not be able to obtain or use the personal details of motorists.

4. Are there signs to warn motorists approaching the cameras?

Research shows that to generate an anywhere-anytime expectation of detection, mobile speed camera operations should not be highly visible. This means operating without warning signs, and without easily recognisable vehicles. This prevents drivers from being able to choose to comply with speed limits only at camera locations, while speeding across the rest of the network. NSW uses this approach to maximise deterrence of speeding behaviour and reduce speed-related road trauma across the entire road network, which is in line with current practice in other Australian jurisdictions.

Signage will remain at fixed speed and red light camera sites. The objective of cameras at these sites is to achieve compliance at specific locations which have a high risk, or history of, road trauma. Evaluation of the NSW fixed speed camera program showed that crash effects of the program were localised to the area within the signage, either side of the camera.

Fixed signage and variable message signs are used across the NSW road network to alert drivers that speed cameras operate in NSW The NSW Government also leads advertising campaigns and uses social media to help inform and change underlying driver attitudes and behaviours to speeding and improve road safety.

5. What happens to the revenue from mobile speed cameras?

Fine revenue from all mobile camera detected speeding offences is directed to the Community Road Safety Fund to support priority road safety programs. The majority of investment in infrastructure safety upgrades will to go country NSW.

6. How do we know the cameras are accurate?

Mobile speed cameras have rigorous regular testing, certification and calibration in accordance with legislated requirements. Regular testing ensures that the accuracy of cameras is maintained.

7. What do the cameras record?

Images from mobile speed cameras clearly show the colour, type, make and numberplate of the vehicle and record the following information:

  • Date of the offence
  • Time of the offence
  • Location details of the camera that took the picture
  • Direction of travel of the offending vehicle
  • Speed of the offending vehicle
  • Speed limit applying to the road where the camera is situated
  • Other security and integrity parameters.

8. 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.

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