Camera’s focus on school zone speeders

The speed camera outside The Illawarra Grammar School pulls in almost its revenue in just three hours a day. Picture: Sylvia Liber
The speed camera outside The Illawarra Grammar School pulls in almost its revenue in just three hours a day. Picture: Sylvia Liber

School zone speeders accounted for more than 90 per cent of the revenue raised by the speed camera outside TIGS in the last financial year.

It’s a staggering figure, given the school zone operates for just three hours a day.

The camera, on the Princes Highway outside The Illawarra Grammar School, caught 2270 drivers and brought in $594,420 in fines in the 2016-17 financial year, according to figures from the Office of State Revenue.

Eighty-nine per cent of those drivers were nabbed during school zone hours.

As for the fines, $553,710  – 93 per cent – were raked in during the three hours of that school zone.

Just 241 drivers were caught speeding outside of the school zone hours

Also, the summer school holiday saw a massive drop in fines and revenue.

With students on holidays and the school zone not in operation in January, just 29 speeders were caught – well down on the monthly average of 181.

The fines for January were just $6697 – an 86 per cent drop on the monthly average.

These figures were no surprise to Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon, who said there were issues across the state with speeding in school zones.

“Unfortunately, speed surveys have found that 40km/h school zones continue to have the lowest rate of compliance, with only 40 per cent of drivers driving within the 40km/h school zone speed limit,” Mr Carlon said.

Mr Carlon said a 10km/h increase in speed can have a massive effect.

“A vehicle that hits a pedestrian at 50km/h is twice as likely to cause a fatality as the same vehicle travelling at 40km/h, which is why school zone speed limits are so important,” he said.

He said the cameras were not hidden and were accompanied by warning signs with lights that flash during school zone hours.

Transport for NSW said speed camera offences outside TIGS had fallen from more than 1200 offences a month when the camera was installed in 2003, to less than 200 a month in 2016.