The introduction of unmarked mobile speed cameras appears to have had a significant impact in the number of Griffith drivers being caught over the speed limit.
In November last year, the NSW Government announced it would be removing the signs warning drivers about mobile speed cameras, as part of a crackdown on speeding drivers.
Figures from the NSW government's revenue office show that in the four months directly after the warning signs were removed, the number of Griffith drivers caught speeding more than tripled compared to during the same time the year before.
From December 2020 to March 2021, unmarked vans near Griffith on Kidman Way, Old Wilbriggie Road and Irrigation Way caught 38 drivers over the speed limit, issuing fines totalling up to $8373.
In the same period the year before, mobile speed cameras with warning signs only caught 11 drivers over the speed limit and issued just $3085 of fines.
The most costly month for Riverina drivers was March this year, when 12 seperate drivers were caught speeding by the mobile speed cameras, racking up $2616 in fines.
More than 90 per cent of the incidents in and around Griffith have occurred on stretches of Kidman Way, both northbound and southbound.
When the removal of the signs was announced last year, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the decision was about changing the mindset of drivers across the state.
"This is about changing culture and changing behaviour," he said.
"No warning signs mean you can be caught anywhere, anytime..."
Mr Constance suggested removing the signs would eventually bring down the number of drivers caught speeding.
The change was criticised by Riverina politicians, including Member for Murray Helen Dalton and Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang.
Mrs Dalton said it was important that it was clear how the extra revenue raised would be spent on improving road networks.
"I'd like to see the evidence on what impact taking away warning signs has on road safety and how the revenue raised is spent," Mrs Dalton said.
"I think what irks country people the most is that there are other aspects of road safety as well - if government is going to raise more revenue through fines, they also need to fix black spots, pave roads and invest in rail to get trucks off the road.
Mr Fang said the decision was made by "city-centric Libs" and was an "absolute disgrace and unfairly targets regional and rural motorists" due to "longer distances and higher speed limits in the bush".
An inquiry into the motives behind the decision to remove the warning signs was launched last month.
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