July 27, 2011
38 "hated" cameras switched off – "not improving road safety" yet "overall… improve road safety". Populism?
At least the old line that they are a “cash cow” can be put to rest – but I imagine those who get pinged by a camera from here on in will still reject their part in their own downfall.
I note also that a whole bunch of cameras will be turned off up here on the Central Coast. The Bateau Bay camera has few friends and there is indeed a case to be made to turn it and many others off (basically because people – often schoolkids – don’t usually cross just there and it could be better sited instead). But what about Woy Woy Road? At Kariong? Do they mean the camera just before that downhill plunge along the ridge? Is there another one, further up the road? Go and check it out, anyway. If it’s the one I’m thinking of then dear oh dear… let’s see how long before a speeder misreads the tight right-hander after that long straight and… well you can imagine who will be cleaning up the minister’s mess. (Not the minister, obviously.)
Even when poorly sited these cameras make a difference. The one on Manns Road at West Gosford slows the traffic, allowing people turning right out of side streets an even break. If you have ever tried to go right just there you’ll know that it matters. Otherwise you’ll get the odd nutter going 80+ and the careless just hurtling along, oblivious to others.
Of course you could site them better. Of course it’s populist. Of course it’ll be a vote winner. That’s what matters, surely?
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay has ordered that 38 speed cameras across the state be switched off immediately after an audit found that they were not improving road safety.
Mr Gay instructed the Roads and Traffic Authority to turn off the cameras after receiving a report from the state’s Auditor-General, Peter Achterstraat, this morning that identified the most hated cameras in NSW.
Mr Achterstraat’s report found that “overall, speed cameras change driver behaviour and improve road safety” and concluded there was no evidence that they were simply cash cows for the government.