The southbound speed camera at Ulmarra.
The southbound speed camera at Ulmarra.

SPEED DROP: Camera no longer a cash cow since bypass

ULMARRA’S speed camera was hard-fought as a way of slowing people down through the township, but it seems it’s had some help from the Pacific Highway bypass.

In the six months after it first opened in late 2018 it was one of the one of the highest revenue raising speed cameras in the state.

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However, figures released by the NSW Department of Revenue show since the bypass opened the number of speeding offences has dropped to almost a quarter.

This reduction comes on top of claims that the bypass would reduce the traffic through the town by more than a half.

The figures from the opening in May until September this year show that 1647 drivers have been detected through the camera in that period.

In the corresponding period last year, 6056 drivers were caught going over the speed limit.

The number of high-speed offences has come down as well, with seven caught more than 30km/h over the speed limit, compared to 16 last year.

The southbound speed camera continues to be the most prolific camera, catching 266 of the 307 offences committed in September.

Since their installation in December 2018, the cameras have caught 16,999 speeders up to this September raising a total of $3.2 million for the NSW Government coffers.

Speaking in August, resident and speed camera campaigner John Leask said it was obvious the cameras were working.

“Even one car speeding is one car too many,” he said. “Especially in a built up area.”

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Mr Leask said the benefits of the speed camera, as well as the reduction in traffic had made the area safer.

“It definitely makes a difference,” he said. “At one point RMS figures showed the average speed through the area before the speed camera was 78km/h — and you work out what kind of speed some must’ve been doing to make it average like that.”

The camera was installed after a hard-fought campaign by residents, sick of major crashes in the town and speeding through the village.

Alongside The Daily Examiner who ran the “Let’s Not Wait - Fix Ulmarra Blackspot” campaign, the campaign garnered national attention when a resident held up a speed camera gun to prove their claims of rampant speeding through the village.

The win came despite opposition from many in the community, including drivers who were caught taunting, threatening and sounding horns as they drove through the village.

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