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NATIONAL NEWS - Thursday 30 July, 2009


National News



Two speed cameras net $7 million a year for NSW Government

The Daily Telegraph

July 30, 2009 12:01am

Gotcha ... the double speed camera on Cleveland St in Sydney's Moore Park. Picture: Kristi Miller
  • Two speed cameras net $7 million in a year
  • Speed limit dropped from 60km/h to 50km/h
  • Claimed it is a deliberate revenue tactic
NEW South Wales' nastiest speed trap has caught out 71,288 motorists and raised millions for a Government which loves revenue from fines.

Two cameras pointing each way on one pole at Cleveland St, in Sydney's Moore Park, netted more than $7 million from June 2008 to June this year.

It is the biggest revenue haul of any set of cameras at a time when revenue has dropped by more than $17 million across the state compared with the same time last year, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Angry motorists believe the haul was increased by officials dropping the speed limit on the stretch of road from 60km/h to 50km/h on the day the cameras were installed in 2007.

"The day the camera came on line I drove out the gate and the camera went off, I thought, 'I am only doing 60' and I looked up and there was a 50km/h sign. It was the first day I saw that sign," a worker at the Moore Park driving range said yesterday.
If I recall correctly, for many years that section was a 70 km/h zone.

Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell demanded answers last night. "The State Labor Government needs to explain why the speed limit has dropped," he said.

Roads Minister Michael Daley refused to answer questions about whether it was a deliberate tactic to lower speed zones to boost revenue, referring questions on the placement of speed cameras to the RTA.

An RTA spokesman claimed the cameras were installed to cut accidents. He also said the speed limit had not come down.

But motorists who use the road regularly - and Opposition politicians - were convinced it had changed. Workers at the Moore Park driving range said it had been a 60km/h zone until the camera appeared.

Eastern Suburbs resident Craig Shaw agreed. His family car has been snapped by the Cleveland St camera four times, each time for being about 5km/h over the limit.

"It seemed ludicrous, you're generally going at a snail's pace (because of traffic). It is quite a clear and open road so it doesn't quite make sense to drop the speed limit further," he said.

The two Cleveland St cameras topped a list of the 10 biggest revenue-raising fixed speed cameras in NSW.

The RTA found support from pedestrian council president Harold Scruby, who said speed changes being introduced with speed cameras was fine if motorists were warned.

"There is evidence of major changes in driver behaviour," Mr Scruby said.

An NRMA spokeswoman said the organisation supported highway patrol pulling people over because speed cameras failed to deter motorists from driving recklessly.