Speed cameras across NSW brought in $103 million in fines last financial year.
Speed cameras across NSW brought in $103 million in fines last financial year. SCOTT POWICK

Clarence Valley's biggest speeding fine cash cow

LOVE them or loathe them - and let's be serious, no one loves them - speed cameras remain a constant and lucrative money spinner for the NSW Government.

NSW Police last financial year issued 494,897 tickets from fixed and movable speed traps, bringing in $103 million in fines - up $7 million on 2014-15 and steadily rising year on year.

Office of State Revenue figures show the golden goose really starts laying over the November to January Christmas period when more people are on the road and police patrols are out in force.

One stretch of road stands above the rest as the Clarence Valley's biggest flash for cash cow: the Pacific Hwy at Ulmarra clocking up $18,599 from 77 separate speeding offences.

Police have issued three fines totalling $493 along that stretch in July-September of this year.

The entire Clarence Valley region drew in $42,123 in fines last financial year, meaning the northbound and southbound Pacific Hwy cameras in Ulmarra accounted for nearly half of the entire region's speed camera revenue.

The Pacific Hwy at Jacky Bulbin Flat was the second speeding hotspot with 18 fines totting up a face value of $7507.

Next came Summerland Way at Carrs Creek, with $5130 in fines, followed by Summerland Way at Mountain View with $4535.

The Gwydir Hwy at Eatonsville rounded out the region's revenue-raising top five with $2341 in fines over the 2015-16 financial year.

Speeding fine statistics elsewhere on the North Coast dwarfed those of the Clarence Valley - one short stretch of road, Hinterland Way at Ewingsdale in the Byron Shire, brought in $3.4 million alone.

The Pacific Hwy in Woodburn, falling under the Richmond Valley region, saw 6658 tickets issued with a face value of $1.4 million.

The NSW road toll increased by a shocking 25% in 2015-16, despite speed camera revenue rising 7.2% over the same period.

Transport for NSW figures reveal 387 people died on the state's roads over the 12 months to September - the worst statistics for any state in the country.

Shadow roads minister Jodi McKay has chastised the Baird government for cutting $15.5 million from its contribution to the Community Road Safety Fund last year.

She said speed cameras were being used to bolster the government's coffers rather than make roads safer.

"The road toll is increasing; the focus should be on slowing people down, not raising revenue,” she said.

"It's disgraceful that the government has cut its contribution to funding road safety programs in the face of an increasing road toll.

"The minister should be fighting for every dollar to fund road safety and curb the needless loss of life.”

Roads Minister Duncan Gay issued a statement saying death and injury had decreased by up to 90% at speed camera locations.

"It's disturbing when speeding is claiming more and more lives that this proven life-saving program is subjected to unjustified accusations of being 'revenue raising',” Mr Gay said.


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