Motorists fuming over speed camera

WHETHER it was revenue raising, a strong safety message or just a coincidence, a mobile speed camera near the scene of the fatal Pacific Highway crash had motorists fuming.

Just hours after a 38-year-old truck driver was killed when his semi-trailer overturned 300 metres north of the Hungry Head turn-off and the camera lens was trained on drivers at Urunga.

An irate motorist has even reported the covert black Ford Territory to police, citing that it ‘was parked in a dangerous spot’ near a bend.

The driver claimed they almost ‘ran up the back’” of the 4WD, as it sat alongside the highway, in an 80km/h zone, about a kilometre south of The Honeypot at Urunga.

The Roads and Traffic Authority has defended the use of the privately contracted vehicles, saying they’re placed in blackspot areas to lower the road toll.

“With five fatalities this year and three serious crashes in the past four years south of Urunga many question that thinking, seeing the exercise as a revenue raising stunt,” another concerned motorist said.

Forty of the mobile cameras are patrolling blackspot areas in NSW, including eight Pacific Highway locations on the Coffs Coast.

The vehicles record video using roof-mounted CCTV cameras, and bi-directional radars can span six lanes of traffic.

The RTA says the cameras are here to save lives, not to raise revenue.

“Last year 207 people were killed in speed-related crashes on NSW roads, which is almost half of all people who died on the State’s roads in 2009,” an RTA spokesman said.

“These cameras are effective in reducing speed-related crashes across the whole network because people reduce their speed all the time rather than only on their approach to a fixed camera.

The RTA says locations for mobile speed enforcement are based on road safety criteria determined by its Centre for Road Safety in consultation with the NSW Police Force and NRMA Motoring and Services.

MOBILE SPEED CAMERA HOTSPOTS

  • RTA Pacific Highway crash figures 2006-2008
  • Arrawarra 45 crashes, 1 death, 26 injuries
  • Clybucca 22 crashes, 3 deaths, 18 injuries
  • Coffs North 88 crashes, 4 deaths, 56 injuries
  • Coffs South 185 crashes, 2 deaths, 114 injuries
  • Halfway Creek North 27 crashes, 2 deaths, 17 injuries
  • Halfway Creek South 34 crashes, 3 deaths, 41 injuries
  • Urunga Raleigh 29 crashes, 1 death, 18 injuries


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