Safe money maker

SPEED CAMERA COMING UP: One of the best in NSW.

SPEED CAMERA COMING UP: One of the best in NSW.

The speed camera that sits at the top of Mount Victoria Pass on the Great Western Highway has claimed many victims or offenders, depending on your view, so many that it has become one of the biggest speed and red light camera revenue raisers in NSW.

The camera has been responsible for a whopping $3.35 million in fines in the last 12 months.

It was beaten to the highest position by a speed camera located on the Eastern Distributer at Darlinghurst.

Chairman of the Blackheath Highway Action Group Michael Paag said the figure was absolutely a sign of its success, coupled with reports he has received from emergency services about the reduction in frequency and severity of crashes on the pass, since the camera was put up and works completed on the pass.

“In the original RMS crash report in 2008 the biggest contributor to accidents on the pass was speed.”

Mr Paag became an advocate for a speed camera at the top of the pass after that, joining forces with community members and groups from Hartley, Mount Victoria and Blackheath to get the camera built.

“We told the RMS and state government that the camera would pay for itself.

“I know some people don’t like it with comments about revenue raising but as far as saving lives and making the roads safer is concerned the outcome we desired has been justified.”

To back Mr Paag’s comments up, in the 2015 NSW Speed Camera Review, published in December last year, there was a 91 per cent reduction in fatalities along with a 42 per cent reduction of injuries at fixed-camera locations from 2009 -2014.

The report also states “All fines from speed and red light cameras are paid into the Community Road Safety Fund. This fund goes towards numerous community road safety initiatives, including road safety engineering works, enhanced enforcement by the NSW Police Force and public education campaigns. Note this does not include fines issued by police.”

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said it was amazing that a speed camera outside an urban area would get so much revenue but did not site it as an example of revenue raising.

“The whole argument that speed cameras are cash cows is largely negated by the fact all the revenue goes into road safety programs.”

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