Camera rakes in $3m


MOTORISTS on the Tweed have handed over an average of more than $1 million a year in speeding fines since a fixed speed camera was installed at Sexton Hill in Banora Point almost three years ago.

That makes the Banora Point camera one of the highest revenue-earning speed cameras on the Far North Coast.

Figures released to the Daily News this week by the NSW Treasury's Office of State Revenue show a total of 22,409 infringement notices were issued to the value of $3,217,817 from March 2003, when it was installed, to the end of 2005.

The figures show that in its first year of operation in 2003, 10,398 penalties were issued to the value of $1,238,777.

In 2004, 9030 penalties were issued to the value of $1,444,575 while in 2005, 2981 penalties were issued ($534,465).

This compares with the camera on Tweed Valley Way at the northern end of Burringbar Range which in the 2004/5 financial year issued fines totalling $3388.

A Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) spokesman said that in the three-year period prior to the camera being installed at Banora Point, 30 crashes were recorded, resulting in eight people injured along a one-kilometre south- bound section of the Pacific Highway.

The RTA spokesman said that during a speed survey prior to the installation of the camera, 15 per cent of vehicles were travelling faster than 101kmh in the 80kmh zone.

An independent report into the effectiveness of fixed speed cameras last year, he said, revealed that cameras dramatically improved road safety, with fatal crashes reduced by 90 per cent and injury crashes by 20 per cent at speed-camera sites.

"Fixed speed cameras in the right places are an effective road safety tool ... they are installed at sites that meet specific criteria based on crash and injury crash rates and travelling speeds," he said.

"This ensures that cameras are installed on 'black lengths' of road with a high crash rate and a demonstrated speeding problem."

He said every fixed speed camera was accompanied by advance warning signs.

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