The soaring number of drivers being caught by mobile speed cameras in Newcastle shows that the state government's decision to remove warning signs last year has not worked and the move was about revenue raising, NSW Labor says.
But the state's transport authority has doubled-down, saying the NSW road toll so far in 2021 is the lowest since monthly records began in 1936.
Figures obtained by Labor show that the number of fines issued across 15 Newcastle postcodes jumped from 111 in the first quarter of 2020 to 1356 in the same period this year - an increase of more than 1100 per cent.
The data shows that the number of fines in the 2299 post code - which includes Lambton, Jesmond and North Lambton - increased by 2340 per cent, from five in the first quarter of 2020 to 122 between from January to March this year.
There were also significant increases in postcode 2289 (Adamstown, Kotara, Adamstown Heights, Kotara South, Garden Suburb and Highfields), where the number of fines jumped from 15 to 203.
Fines increased from 18 to 181 in postcode 2304 (Mayfield, Mayfield West, Sandgate, Warabrook, Mayfield East, Kooragang and Mayfield North), while the figure jumped from 16 to 156 in postcode 2291 (Merewether, The Junction and Merewether Heights).
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said the rising number of fines showed that the removal of signs warning drivers about mobile speed cameras was not "effective as a tool for decreasing infringements".
He said the numbers were "incredible".
"I think we all expected to see some kind of rise when the warning signs were removed, but it has gone into absolute overdrive," Mr Crakanthorp said.
"When we see numbers like this it's hard not to believe that it isn't the government revenue raising."
Transport for NSW deputy secretary for safety, environment and regulation Tara McCarthy said the state's road toll so far this year was 23 deaths below the three-year average, with the fewest fatalities since monthly records began more than 80 years ago.
Ms McCarthy said revenue from fines went directly into the Community Road Safety Fund for education, infrastructure and enforcement - $11 million has been earmarked for the Newcastle area between 2018/19 and 2022/23.
"There is no such thing as safe speeding - every kilometre over the speed limit makes a difference," she said.
"There's a lot of focus on how many people are being fined when the real issue here is how many people are driving above the limit and putting their own and other's lives at risk."
A Parliamentary Inquiry was launched last month into mobile speed cameras in NSW, with public submissions open until July 9.
IN THE NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: