• Tony Bosworth

Fines accelerate as mobile camera warning signs disappear – all you need to know about your rights

Our legal expert, solicitor Alyce Cooper from Hawkesbury’s AKC Legal, has herself been caught on a mobile speed camera – so there’s no-one better to tell us all we need to know about our legal rights with the roadside snappers.

We have all heard the NSW government’s revenue has soared since it decided in late 2020 to remove the warning signs for mobile speed cameras.

Then a month or so after that decision was made, the government decided roadside parked vehicles fitted with mobile speed cameras would operate with no signage or warnings on them at all.

In March this year, the fines that were given for low range speeding offences (travelling 10kph and under above the speed limit) perhaps not surprisingly increased by more than 1500%.

Interestingly, mobile speed camera vehicles are not operated by law enforcement agencies, but by private contractors.

The second thing that is a live issue is, last month we were told that some mobile speed cameras are bi-directional, meaning they cover both sides of the road.

These changes are something that was already applicable in some other states.

The data shows that in January this year, 80,110 fines were issued in NSW (a value of $6.3 million), as opposed to the same time last year when only 32,637 fines were issued for speeding (a value of $478,580).

I was part of that statistic when I recently received a Penalty Notice in the mail for going 8km over the limit.

When you receive a Penalty Notice, you have options to have pay it, nominate someone (if a someone else was driving), seek a review, or have the fine decided in Court.

I opted for the Review, and after submissions were given in writing, the fine was waived and a caution was given to me. Of course, that is something that would most likely only be on the table once for me, and if I receive a further Penalty Notice down the track, I won’t be so lucky.

Critics say that the removal of warning signs of the cameras are simply revenue raising, and they say if there were warning signs it would encourage anyone speeding to reduce their speed, making the roads safer. Now, if there is no warning, those people are not prompted to slow down.

Well known Sydney lawyer Robert Bryden says: “Mobile speed cameras without signs don’t slow traffic down, they just raise revenue. We need drivers to be keeping a proper lookout and concentrating on driving, not staring at their speedometers.

“The velocity a car travels at has no bearing on the types of accidents we see,” he claims.

The current demerit points and fines for speeding offences in NSW for Class C

vehicles – your normal family car or SUV - on an unrestricted licence are as follows:

Exceed speed over 10km/hr - $489 and 3 demerit points

Exceed speed over 20km/hr - $609 and 4 demerit points

Exceed speed over 30km/hr - $1464 and 5 demerit points

Exceed speed over 45km/hr - $3821 and 6 demerit points

Alyce Cooper is the Principal Solicitor at AKC Legal. Ms Cooper specialises in traffic law, criminal law, civil law, family law, Estate Planning and Probate matters.

The contents of this article should not be construed as specific legal advice to any individual reader’s situation. If you would like legal advice tailored to your situation, please contact AKC Legal on 0401 451 322.

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