The decision to partially reinstate mobile speed camera signs in New South Wales is a modest win for driver education according to the National Road Transport Association (Natroad).
While the NSW Government is mandating signage on top of mobile speed camera operator vehicles, but not on the approaches to a camera site, which NatRoad CEO Warren Clark believes could pose a safety risk.
“The danger is that drivers of all vehicles will brake suddenly when they see the camera instead of checking their speed on the approach,” said Clark.
“Speed camera warning signs are an important reminder to drivers to check their speed and slow down but motorists braking suddenly creates a new risk.”
Clark said heavy vehicle operators deal with an array of variable speed limits that can produce unintended breaches of the rules.
“Mobile speed cameras should always be deployed in areas with a poor accident history,” he said.
“Signage that reminds all drivers to check their speed well before they reach a black spot makes sense.”
In November, NatRoad appeared before the NSW Parliamentary Staysafe Committee Inquiry into the speed camera regime to make its case for the return of signage.
“We told the committee that people viewed speeding fines as revenue raising because the link between penalties and safety outcomes is unclear or poorly spelt out,” said Clark.
“As it stands, Revenue NSW does not even split its fines data between light and heavy vehicles.
“It’s impossible to see the effects of enforcement on heavy vehicle safety if the basic data is not available and we’ll continue to advocate for evidence-based measures that enhance safety.”