New cameras sting drivers $7m in 30 days
Controversial new mobile phone detecting cameras have raked in $7 million in fines in just their first month of use.
The world-first cameras in NSW detected an extra 11,790 offences, increasing revenue by a massive 1500 per cent between February and March, when they came into effect.
NSW Shadow Transport Minister John Graham said it was clear many drivers hadn't got the message.
"This is a dramatic number of fines … We need to educate drivers," he told 9 News.
Mr Graham said the cameras needed signage alerting drivers where they were, as was the case with speed cameras.
"We support the cameras but with signage at the side of the road," he said.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has ruled out installing signs at the locations, at Anzac Parade in Moore Park and the M4 in Prospect.
Mobile versions can also be set up at any other locations across Sydney.
Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said not having signage was a deterrent for drivers thinking they could get caught anywhere, at any time.
The penalty for offending drivers is five demerit points and a $344 fine, or $457 in a school zone.
Nine News reports 12,991 fines were issued for mobile offences in March, totalling $7,429,451.
More than 90 per cent were from the cameras, with the remainder being police-issued.
It's understood another 9000 fines were issued in April.
In February, before the cameras went online, 1337 fines worth $462,640 were issued.
Revenues are expected to increase even more when traffic returns to normal after lockdown restrictions are lifted in the state.
The Mobile Phone Detection Camera Program is a key initiative to achieve the Government's target of reducing road fatalities and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2021.
During the program's pilot, from January to June 2019, more than 100,000 drivers were found to be using a mobile phone illegally.
Modelling by Monash University Accident Research Centre estimates the program will contribute to a reduction in road trauma of approximately 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over a five-year period.
Originally published as New cameras sting drivers $7m in 30 days