Claims by Paterson residents that more than half the drivers travelling along the small town’s thoroughfare
regularly broke the 50km/h speed limit should be of major concern to police and other government authorities.
So too is the apparent loss of revenue from the
foregone fines – a staggering $2.5 million in one month, based on data collected by Dungog Shire Council and applied to fine schedules.
It is often claimed that speed cameras are mere revenue raisers – something which the O’Farrell government has pledged to fix by removing those that are deemed to be in ‘safe’ locations.
This, of course, has raised the obvious question as to whether there are locations where speed cameras should be installed – and it appears that Paterson residents would answer with a resounding ‘yes’.
The residents claim that sometimes a metre is all that separates life from death; what is clear in this case is that they fear it will take a fatality before action is taken to reduce speeding on the road to make it safer.
Concerns that vehicles speed on the stretch of road between Martins Creek bridge and the level crossing are, of course, not isolated.
Ask any Maitland resident to nominate roads where drivers speed, and where there is no speed camera and the police are rarely seen, and it is more than likely that a long list would be forthcoming.
The travesty in this case is that the $2.5 million in lost revenue could have gone some way towards making the roads through the Dungog shire safer – they have a
reputation of being notoriously bad – or other driver
education or road safety measures.