TENTERFIELD’S fixed speed cameras work and have saved the community at least $12.6 million in costs, the NSW government’s latest review into speed cameras has found.
The NSW government released its Annual NSW Speed Camera Performance Review this month.
The review included a report showing the two fixed speed cameras on the New England Highway between Duncan and George streets, Tenterfield, had resulted in a “100 per cent reduction” in the average annual number of crashes.
The report compared figures from the five-year period before the camera was installed in October 2002, and the most recent five year period from 2006-2011.
There were seven crashes resulting in two deaths and nine injuries between 1997 and 2002, and no crashes recorded between 2006 and 2011.
“When compared to the pre-installation period, this is a 100 per cent reduction in the annual average number of crashes and in the annual average number of casualties,” the report stated.
“This has been a saving of $12.6 million in costs to the community…
“When assessed against the evaluation criteria in the NSW Speed Camera Strategy, the fixed speed cameras at this location are found to be delivering the expected road safety benefits.”
The location of the cameras has caused controversy over the years, with several attempts through Tenterfield Shire Council to have accident and speed results assessed.
The 2012 Annual NSW Speed Camera Performance Review also noted that while information about infringements at the Tenterfield site was not available before July 2004, the information since that time showed a reduction in speeding.
A graph showed the number of infringements had steadily dropped from about 950 in July 2004, to about 250 in November 2011.
The review included a total of 97 fixed speed camera and found 88 of those cameras were effective. After further analysis, cameras in Corrimal, Edgecliff, Hungry Head, Kootingal and Lochinvar were recommended for comprehensive field reviews.
The review found the fixed speed camera program had delivered a 38 per cent reduction in the number of crashes overall, with an 87 per cent reduction in fatalities and a 37 per cent reduction in injuries at camera locations.
A plea by council to move the cameras to “Norco corner” at the northern end of Rouse Street was knocked on the head in October, 2010, when then NSW Roads Minister David Borger sent a letter to council stating the cameras would remain where they were.
Speed testing at Willow Bridges on Rouse Street over a four-week period in March and April, 2010, tracked drivers travelling at up to three times the speed limit as they entered town despite having passed the cameras.
One driver was recorded travelling at 156.3 km/h in the 50 km/h zone.