Saturday, August 11, 2012


The number of car crashes at two Wollongong black spots has increased since speed cameras were installed.A review of the state’s fixed, mobile, safety and point-to-point speed camera network has found the overwhelming majority have led to a reduction in accidents, injuries and deaths.
But in Wollongong, the installation of fixed cameras a decade ago on Memorial Dr (formerly Northern Distributor) at Corrimal and the Southern Freeway near the University of Wollongong has been met with respective 12 and 14 per cent rises in crashes.
The number of accidents at four Illawarra intersections where safety cameras were installed last April - at a total cost to the taxpayer of about $1 million - has also risen.
A camera on the corner of the Princes Hwy and O’Briens Rd in Figtree failed to prevent a 112per cent increase in the annual average number of crashes and a 254per cent surge in the annual average number of injuries.
A new camera on the corner of Windang Rd and Boronia Ave in Windang coincided with a 220per cent average increase in crashes, while another targeting the intersection of Corrimal St and Burelli St in Wollongong has seen an average 50 per cent annual increase in accidents.
Road safety authorities said a longer and more ‘‘comprehensive analysis’’ was required before any conclusion could be made about the effectiveness of safety cameras.
Across NSW, the number of crashes at intersections monitored by these types of cameras has fallen an average 21 per cent.
The review’s release has also revealed the NSW Centre for Road Safety will spend the next year reviewing the Princes Hwy to identify locations for new speed cameras.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay yesterday released the audit - the first of its type in NSW.
It found 92 of the state’s 97 fixed speed cameras have improved road safety.
At fixed speed camera locations, fatalities have dropped 87 per cent, crashes 38 per cent and injuries 37 per cent.
Authorities will further probe the five fixed cameras that have not created any significant improvement, including the one on Memorial Dr, to see if they should be removed or relocated.
‘‘We’re determined to ensure speed cameras are only in locations where they have a proven road safety benefit and that they are not simply there as revenue raisers,’’ Mr Gay said.
The Memorial Dr camera has netted $783,000 in fines since 2004-05.
The camera on the Southern Freeway near the university is not being reviewed because while accidents have increased, injuries have fallen substantially.
A NSW Centre for Road Safety spokeswoman said no cameras would be switched off until ‘‘we have looked at the locations closely, considered the views of the community and looked at alternative measures to improve road safety’’.
“The cameras will continue to operate until the comprehensive reviews are completed and alternative work for the area is identified,’’ she said. The review will be completed by February 2013.

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