| 13.05,12. 03:59 AM |
Red light cameras net $32m in fines
May 13, 2012
MOTORISTS are being slugged up to $1 million a week for running red lights.
Revenue from the NSW government's controversial safety camera regime will soar to about $42 million this financial year.
Red light revenue has jumped to $32 million already this financial year from $16 million in 2010-11 and $349,000 in 2009-10.
The cameras reaped another $6 million from speeding offences from July to March.
The government ripped out 38 "ineffective" speed cameras in July, after promising to crack down on revenue raising. But they were replaced with 46 new safety cameras, taking the number of monitored intersections to 91.
Safety cameras, which capture speeding and red-light offences, have been rolled out since 2010 to replace traditional red-light cameras.
The 46 cameras are issuing warning notices to speeding drivers but have been fining motorists who run red lights.
Office of State Revenue figures reveal the state's 91 safety cameras earned $32,385,147 in red-light offences between June 2011 and March this year, almost double the previous year's figure.
If red light fines continue at the same rate, $42 million will be made this financial year.
Roads and Maritime Services plans to install another 100 cameras. Red light fines are $353 and three demerit points.
University of NSW road safety chair Raphael Grezbieta said the increase in fines shows motorists are ignoring cameras.
"They don't realise what they are doing is really, really dangerous. Intersection crashes are particularly bad," he said.
There were 8904 injury crashes at NSW intersections in 2010, 76 of them fatal.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay asked the RMS to investigate road safety benefits of the cameras after the Auditor-General released a report into their efficacy last July.
"The Auditor-General found it was too soon to determine if safety cameras ... had significant safety benefits as they had only been introduced 12 months prior to the audit," a spokeswoman said.
The NRMA's Peter Khoury said the RMS has to consider fixing roads and improving traffic flow.
"If we're serious about safety cameras delivering a safety benefit, we need to be more strategic about how we use them," he said.
"Let's address the problem with the location and not just collect the fines."