Results of the 2012 NSW Annual Speed Camera Performance Review
Since their introduction in New South Wales in 1991, speed cameras have contributed to significant reductions in casualty crashes and vehicle speeds in NSW. Despite these results, a negative public perception of speed cameras remains a challenge for road safety policy. In 2011, the New South Wales Auditor-General completed an audit of speed camera programs in NSW. In response to the audit recommendations and as part of a broader initiative to improve the transparency and understanding of speed camera programs in the community, the NSW Centre for Road Safety published the first public snapshot of the performance of all speed cameras in NSW in July 2012. The 2012 Annual NSW Speed Camera Performance Review supports previous evaluations and shows that speed cameras continue to contribute to reductions in vehicle speeds, crashes and causalities in NSW. In NSW, speed camera performance is evaluated against criteria outlined in the NSW Speed Camera Strategy, as well as specific review criteria outlined in the Performance Review. In a five year pre and post installation evaluation period, fixed speed cameras were found to have contributed to a 38 percent reduction in crashes, an 87 percent reduction in fatalities and a 37 percent reduction in injuries at fixed speed camera locations. Five fixed speed camera locations reviewed were identified for more comprehensive onsite assessments, including the consideration of the removal of cameras and the implementation of alternative treatments. Preliminary observations of the mobile speed camera, red-light speed camera and point-to-point camera programs show a positive effect on vehicle speeds, crashes and casualties. The results of the Performance Review improve the transparency of the use of speed cameras in NSW by providing sound evidence of their effectiveness, and support a policy of only using cameras where they are improving road safety. The results also identify locations where cameras have not been effective and provide lessons for the future planning of speed camera locations. These results are supported by recent attitudinal research of NSW drivers which shows an increase in positive attitudes towards speed enforcement measures and indicates that this work will lead to a greater acceptance of cameras in NSW.