The National Road Transport Association will put the case for the return of mobile speed camera signage and for better data to inform road safety to a New South Wales Parliamentary inquiry on Monday.
The NSW Parliamentary Standing Committee on Road Safety is enquiring into the state’s mobile speed cameras and the decision in November 2020 to remove warning signage.
NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said as professional drivers spending much of their waking time behind the wheel to make a living, his members have safety at the heart of everything they do.
“Speed limit signage plays an important educational role,” Clark said.
“It reminds a driver to check their speed and slow down, if necessary, and it reduces confusion.
“Driver education is fundamental to road safety, particularly the education of light vehicle drivers around heavy vehicles.”
NatRoad believes reducing speed is a factor in making roads safer but must be accompanied by other improvements, such as better infrastructure.
Clark will cite expert commentary by the Transport and Road Safety Research Centre at the University of New South Wales saying that simply setting lower speed limits is a poor approach to safety as compliance and often presents problems for drivers.
“There are many roads in NSW where a different speed limit is applied for trucks. There are also many roads where the speed limit is variable and posted electronically,” he said.
“The variable signage is often inadequate in size or poorly placed, and that this leads to inadvertent non-compliance.
“NatRoad wants to see a greater emphasis on warning signs that are suitably large and placed at decision points along freight routes.”
NatRoad was surprised to have been told by Revenue NSW in May this year that it does not split its data for speeding offences between heavy and light vehicles.
“This is ludicrous – how can you measure the effects of enforcement on the heavy vehicle sector’s road safety record when this basic data is not available?” Clark said.
Clark said research from the National Transport Accident Research Centre shows that three quarters of inappropriate speed crashes are “off path on curve” crashes. These are essentially roll over incidents.
“It follows that if mobile speed cameras are to be deployed, they should be placed – with signage – at the lead up to sharp corners, especially where evidence shows they are ‘black spots’,” Clark said.
“Making infrastructure adjustments, like adjusting road camber, should be a high priority for all governments.”