Speed cameras rake in record fines while NSW in lockdown
While most of the state was getting used to life in lockdown, the NSW government was raking in a record amount of cash from speed cameras.
This March was the most profitable month for speed and red light camera fines in seven years, earning the Berejiklian government $20.9 million in fines, up from $15.7 million in the previous month.
School zone fines accounted for 22.8 per cent of all traffic camera fines in March, a 5 per cent spike from the same month last year.
Despite school attendance falling to below 10 per cent towards the end of March, a massive $4.7 million was raised in fines at school zones in the month alone.
The school zone camera taking in the most cash this year is on the Princes Highway in Kogarah, at Moorefield Girls High and James Cook Boys High.
The southbound camera took in $1.2 million in fines this year, while the northbound camera just metres away took in $391,338.
Labor member for Kogarah Chris Minns said the NSW government should show leniency for those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
"We don't want to drive people in already precarious situations into even more strife," he said.
"We've got a situation where leniency should be applied to those who are in dire financial circumstances - many of them would have believed that the schools were not operating and as a result we have seen enormous amounts of revenue."
Mr Minns said he believed more work needed to be done to make sure the high-revenue cameras aren't there to "trap" motorists.
"If there is a major trouble spot then I'd suggest they put police officers down there and change their policy response," he said.
"With the NSW government hiding in the bushes waiting to take people's money, the only people winning are those making the money."
For non-school zone fines the newly opened WestConnex tunnel has proven a cash cow, pulling in more than $5.6 million this year from two Croydon speed cameras.
The Eastern Distributor at Darlinghurst was a also massive earner, pulling in $3.4 million this year.
Transport for NSW Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlton said that the cameras were vital to stopping speeding.
"Transport for NSW annually reviews speed cameras to ensure they are working to improve safety. Speed cameras that do not appear to be effective will be further reviewed and removed if they are found to be ineffective," Mr Carlton said.
"Our aim is to slow drivers down, not fine them, so if drivers want to avoid getting a fine the simple solution is to stay within the speed limit."
Transport for NSW declined to say if the top earning speed cameras have has any reports of being faulty.
Police Minister David Elliott declined to comment.
Originally published as Speed cameras rake in record fines while NSW in lockdown