NSW considering unmarked speed camera vans

Posted Tue Jun 5, 2007 10:02am AEST

The New South Wales Police Force and the Roads and Traffic Authority are looking at new

technology to catch speeding drivers, including the use of cameras in unmarked vans.

The NSW Roads Minister, Eric Roozendaal, says Victoria uses unmarked vans to catch drivers

speeding and it works well.

"There is strong evidence in other jurisdictions, both Australia and overseas, that there are other

strategies that can be adopted to discourage speeding," he said.

"But before the New South Wales Government will move from its position of high visibility

enforcement, we would need to see strong and clear evidence that this would be an effective


Mr Roozendaal insists the proposal is not about raising revenue.

"I would prefer to see all the speed cameras in New South Wales earn no revenue and to have

motorists slow down."

The Opposition and NRMA reject the proposal

The New South Wales Opposition has labelled the proposal 'sneaky' and ineffective.

The opposition roads spokesman, Duncan Gay, says he does not believe that the plan is anything

more than a revenue raiser.

"This is a sneaky way to raise money, not a good way to save lives," he said.

Mr Gay says drivers slow down when they see police cars, and that means unmarked vans would not

act as a deterrent.

The motoring organisation, NRMA, agrees that a highly visible police presence is the best way to

deter speeding drivers.

Spokesman, Alan Evans, says he hopes figures showing Victoria issues more speeding fines than

NSW are not considered proof of the strategy's effectiveness.

"They're using the argument that more fines means that people are behaving more - it doesn't stack

up," he said.

"What we've got to look at is the rate of crashes per million kilometres, the rate of deaths per million


"Not just an exercise in how can we raise more money out of motorists, but rather how can we stop

them breaking the rules, be safer drivers on safer roads."

Support for the proposal

The Pedestrian Council of Australia has backed the proposal.

Its chairman, Harold Scruby, says Victoria has significantly reduced its road toll since bringing in a

covert system.

"We've got to know when we speed that we can be caught anywhere, anytime," he said.

Mr Scruby says trials in NSW show unmarked vans make drivers slow down everywhere instead of

sticking to the speed limit in areas they know are monitored.