Calls to bring back warning signs ahead of mobile speed cameras have been bolstered by the findings of a comprehensive NSW parliament inquiry.
Speeding fines skyrocketed across the Riverina last year after the state government made the controversial decision to stop erecting signs that warned drivers of upcoming speed vans.
After months of backlash and accusations of revenue raising, the decision was partially reversed in December when the state government announced 'your speed has been checked' signs would sit atop the vans.
But a parliamentary inquiry into the mobile speed camera system has suggested the reversal go one step further and re-introduce the advance warning signs.
It found that making the state's mobile speed camera system "more overt" would encourage people to drive safer and make the camera program fairer.
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Chairman Lou Amato, a Liberal MLC, said the huge amount of submissions made to the inquiry showed the widespread discontent with the removal of the signs.
"We received more than 1400 submissions to the inquiry and this level of community engagement demonstrates the public's deep concern about the way mobile speed cameras operate," he said.
"More needs to be done to let people know that mobile speed cameras are about making our roads safer and are not about revenue raising."
The Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety report puts forward 18 recommendations for the state's mobile speed camera system.
As well as making the signage more prevalent and overt, the inquiry also recommends increasing public understanding of why speed vans are placed in certain locations and exactly how revenue from fines is spent.
Wagga-based MLC Wes Fang has been a vocal critic of the removal of the signs and welcomed the inquiry's findings.
"The more warning we can give people not only improves the confidence of motorists that it's not about revenue raising but it also provides them an opportunity to alter their behaviour while they're committing a speeding offence," he said.
"They are sensible recommendations and what we need to do now is continue to see what effect the new speed signage has on the 0-10 km/h speeding infringement numbers."
Wagga drivers were caught going up to 10km over the speed limit exactly 303 times by mobile speed cameras last month, clocking up more than $54,000 in fines.
The numbers are a big drop off from January, when 534 of the same offences were recorded and resulted in fines worth more than $99,000.
Despite the steady decline in offences, Mr Fang said his preference is still a return to the old system of advance warning signs.
He added that the government needs to ensure it is placing the speed vans in places where they actually reduce crashes.
Wagga resident and road safety writer Bruce Harper said the recommendations should have included information on if cameras actually reduce crashes.
"A couple of mentions are made of the assumption that cameras 'support keeping drivers safe' ... this is as much as they've ever said," he said.
"The report simply entrenches an enforcement system the usefulness of which has never been proven."
According to the NSW Government, mobile speed cameras lead to a crash reduction across the state's entire road network by providing a general deterrence against speeding.
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