Signs say 'yes' to no warnings

Should drivers be warned that their speed is about to be checked?

It's the question back up for debate a year after the state's Auditor-General found warning signs limited the effectiveness of mobile speed cameras across NSW.

The NSW government rejected the recommendation to remove the warnings at the time, but this week revealed it was considering getting rid of them.

The removal of warning signs would also extend to fixed speed cameras and the new cameras that'll detect drivers using mobile phones.

The move has some expressing concerns about perceived revenue-raising, while the NRMA said the signs play an important role in educating drivers.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the removal of the signs was about saving lives, not raising revenue.

Mr Constance said he wanted drivers to understand they could be caught doing the wrong thing anywhere and at any time, and the threat should be the same as the random breath test.

While there are no fixed speed cameras in the Young area, there are locations on our district roads where mobile cameras operate.

At present, Transport for NSW's Centre for Road Safety publishes the locations of mobile speed cameras on its website.

If you don't know them, they're Boorowa Street, Campbell Street and the Olympic Highway.

When it comes to the mobile cameras, which are housed in vehicles, drivers are currently given adequate warning their speed is about to be checked. Operators place portable warning signs - which display the speed limit - 50 metres before and after the vehicle, with another warning given up to 250 metres ahead of it. The vehicles themselves are also clearly marked.

With all the warnings, it makes you wonder why so many people still get caught.

We know that most drivers slow down as they approach a speed camera - be it mobile or fixed - and most of them simply speed up once they've driven past.

Will removing the warning signs save lives? Who knows. What we can be sure of is that removing them won't cost lives.

If everyone was on their best behaviour behind the wheel, abided by the road rules and stuck to the speed limit, then no one would have to worry about getting caught.

If only it were that simple.

What do you think?