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Mobile speed camera stoush in Orange is all about the timing

The transport for NSW statement in December, 2021.

By Peter Holmes

State MP Phil Donato has accused the government of raising revenue on the sly after discovering a mobile speed camera vehicle on Leeds Parade with no warning sign for motorists.

Donato described it as "The NSW Government’s continued wealth by stealth".

"These pictures are of a covert mobile speed camera vehicle observed operating on Leeds Parade at Orange earlier today," Donato said on a Facebook post on Tuesday that had attracted 260 comments and 414 "reactions" at the time of writing.

A screenshot of Phil Donato's Facebook photo.

"I’m in Parliament this week, so when I see the Regional Roads and Transport Minister Sam Farraway MLC I’ll be asking him why he isn’t keeping his Government’s promise to have signs installed from February," Donato wrote.

However the Bathurst-based Farraway told The Orange News Examiner that the rollout of the warning signs was on schedule, and that Donato was being mischievous by claiming the government had missed its own deadline.

Wording in a statement from Transport for NSW (TfNSW) released on December 17, 2021 appeared to be behind the debate on the timing of the introduction of the signs.

"Motorists will be warned their speed is being checked with signs to appear on top of all mobile speed camera vehicles across the state from February," it read.

Some took this to mean that by the end of February all of the warning signs would be in place.

Further down, however, the TfNSW statement read: "A retractable, double-sided sign, similar to those currently used in the ACT, will be installed on top of all mobile speed camera vehicles from February 2022.

"Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes said the rollout of signage would take several months, with the priority on marking vehicles that are currently unmarked." [Stokes is no longer the minister.]

Deputy premier and (then) minister for regional transport and roads Paul Toole was quoted in the same TfNSW statement in December.

“We need to strike the right balance between giving a fair go to the majority who are trying to do the right thing, and ensuring those few who continue to deliberately risk lives cop the fine they deserve,” Toole said.

“There is no excuse for speeding – and with these new signs, in addition to the 1,000 fixed signs we’re already rolling out, motorists will have every opportunity to change their behaviour and ensure the safety of everyone on the road.”

In November 2020 the NSW government removed warning signs and high visibility markings on mobile speed camera vehicles.

"Prior to these changes, the practice in NSW was to place warning signs 250 metres and 50 metres before the location of a mobile speed camera, as well as 50 metres after the camera," the NRMA said in August last year.

"The warning signs also listed the posted speed limit of the road to educate drivers.

"The NRMA, which has historically opposed the removal of the warning signs, is supportive of an increased focus on making drivers aware of speed limits across the road network, including at mobile speed camera locations."


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