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10 Nov 2017

Are we any safer? Speed cameras rake in $1.1 billion

By Paul Maric -

Speed cameras have raked in a staggering $1.1 billion in Australia over a one year period in financial year 2017, and we can reveal the top three locations in each state.

The numbers come on the back of a staggering 217 per cent increase in deaths on NSW roads for November compared to the same period last year, and  a 15 per cent jump in the Victorian road toll last year.

It begs the question, are speed cameras working? Are the roads safer with our strict speeding laws? And what can be done to solve the issue?

Victoria led the charge on speed camera revenue, followed by Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and then Western Australia.

Victoria: $363.15 million

  • Warrigal Road and Batesford Road, Chadstone

  • Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive, St Kilda

  • Flinders Street and William Street, Melbourne

New South Wales: $193.92 million

  • Eastern Distributor, northbound, Darlinghurst

  • Cross City Tunnel, westbound, East Sydney

  • Botany Road, southbound, Rosebery

Queensland: $226 million

  • Legacy Way Tunnel, Brisbane

  • Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

  • Pacific Motorway, Loganholme

South Australia: $174 million

  • South Eastern Freeway, Leawood Gardens

  • South Eastern Freeway, Crafers

  • Montague Road, Ingle Farm

Western Australia: $97 million

  • Roe Highway, Beckenham

  • Great Eastern Highway, Burlong

  • Graham Farmer Freeway, Burswood

Tasmania: Over $1 million

  • Brooker Highway, Rosetta

  • Tasman Highway, western side

  • Bass Highway, East Devonport

Across the country, revenue from speed cameras goes into a state roads fund to improve roads and tackle the road toll.

But how much of that revenue actually goes into better roads? If you’re in South Australia, it’s not a great deal. According to the 2015 South Australia Road Safety Annual Report, only $34 million of the total $81 million netted from speed cameras was put into fixing roads and making them safer.

Of the remaining $46.3 million, $3.3 million was put into purchasing and servicing speed cameras, $35.58 million into the road safety policing program, $5.5 million into research, advertising and policy advice, and $3.57 million into driver education programs, with the rest distributed amongst miscellaneous services. That means the fund was operating at a loss, presumably with the expectation of topping it up the following year with more speed camera revenue – which is what happened.

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