Mobile speed camera vehicles without warning signs have been spotted around the Macleay, despite an announcement stating they would be phased out over the next 12 months.
Late last year the Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, announced that warning signs would be phased out, and operating hours of 45 mobile speed cameras currently in NSW would be increased from 7000 hours per month to 21,000 hours.
Supporters of the sign removal argue that only speeding drivers are at risk of fines, but detractors say that it is an exercise in revenue raising, and that this change will rob drivers of the chance to adjust their behaviour before receiving a fine.
On 'The Hub' NRMA website, NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said that warning signs are imperative and play an essential role in reducing crashes in high-risk locations.
"We support the use of cameras, and we support the use of warning signs. We think they play an important role in education," he said.
"Speed cameras are in locations with a crash history and, without the signs, we would miss an opportunity to tell people to slow down.
"We want people to change their behaviour behind the wheel, not three weeks later when they get a fine in the mail."
Wes Fang, a NSW Nationals state member of parliament, also disagreed with the move, criticising the decision that he believes unfairly targets rural motorists.
Transport for NSW, who operate the mobile speed camera program in conjunction with the NSW Police Force, was contacted for comment on the premature removal of the signs.
Their response consisted of a statement from Transport for NSW deputy secretary for safety and environmental regulation, Tara McCarthy.
"Speed is the biggest killer on NSW roads, and those that choose to speed need to know they can be detected anywhere, anytime," the statement said.
"In NSW, speeding contributes to around 41 per cent of road fatalities and 24 per cent of serious injuries each year - that is almost 150 lives lost and around 1,270 people seriously injured.
"Automated speed camera enforcement is one of the most effective, evidence-based measures to reduce speeding and save lives and injuries.
"The changes being made to the NSW Mobile Speed Camera Program brings the NSW program into line with other states."
Along with the increase in hours and removal of the signs, new unmarked mobile speed camera vehicles are reportedly close to be being rolled out as well.
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