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Crashes up at camera spotHunter speed camera map

Crashes up at camera spot | Hunter speed camera map UNWANTED RECORD: The fixed speed camera location on McCaffrey Drive, Rankin Park, has had a significant recent increase in crashes. Picture: Simone De Peak
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UNWANTED RECORD: The fixed speed camera location on McCaffrey Drive, Rankin Park, has had a significant recent increase in crashes. Picture: Simone De Peak

UNWANTED RECORD: The fixed speed camera location on McCaffrey Drive, Rankin Park, has had a significant recent increase in crashes. Picture: Simone De Peak

UNWANTED RECORD: The fixed speed camera location on McCaffrey Drive, Rankin Park, has had a significant recent increase in crashes. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebookRANKIN Park is home tothe state’s only speed camera witha significant recent increase in crashes, but the NSW government has decided to keep it.

In five years sincethe camera was installed on McCaffery Drive therehas been a 367 per cent rise in “casualty crashes” there, starklyat odds with a statewidetrend of fewer crashesin fixed speed camera locations.

Over the sameperiod, the camera has caught about 10 speeding drivers a month.

It has alsocostmotoristsabout $30,000 a year in fines, out ofa Hunterannual speed camera toll for drivers of about $4 million.

But despite the Rankin Parkcamera being singled out for mentionin a Transport for NSW annual review of speed cameras, the government has ruled out removing or relocatingit.

A “comprehensive review” found the camera hadreduced traffic speeds on the downhill, or westbound, section of McCaffery Drive and should be retained.

“Fixed speed cameras in NSW are placed at specific locations with a known crash history,” a Transport for NSW spokesman said.

“Our aim is to slow drivers down, not fine them, which is why speed cameras are clearly signposted and all locations are published on theCentre for Road Safety website. Over 99 per cent of drivers in NSW do the right thing and pass speed cameras without being fined.”

Wallsend state Labor MP Sonia Hornery called on the government to consider moving the camera, but said therise in crashes on McCaffrey Drivewas a symptom of worseningtraffic.

“McCaffrey Drive is used as a rat run through to Wallsend and the Link Road. The government needs to get on with completing stage five of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass,” Ms Hornery said.

“The government should also review the positioning of the speed camera, given its remarkable failure to reduce casualty crashes in the area.”

Crashesnear the Rankin Park camera tend to be low-impact and the result of “poor decision-making”, relievingNorthern Region traffic tactician Bruce McGregor said, but aren’tnecessarily caused by the camera.

“It’s a heavily populated road at peak times, a main feeder road for John Hunter Hospital and areas of the city, the lake and even the Hunter,” Chief Inspector McGregor said.

“No matter which way you go there’s a heavy volume of traffic, so there’s always the chance of a crash.”

The review found crashes had decreased at all of the Hunter’s other fixed speed cameras, including those at Mayfield West, Gateshead, Sandgate, Lochinvar and Nords Wharf.

Transport has already decided to retainall the cameras except the one on Maitland Road at Sangate, which is under review.

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