Valley's first fixed speed camera to be installed
A FIXED speed camera to be placed in Ulmarra from October will become the first permanent speed trap in the Clarence Valley.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis yesterday announced the new camera, which will replace a mobile speed camera operating since a horrifying truck crash on June 18 re-ignited community and media pressure.
The decision comes almost eight months after The Daily Examiner launched its Let's Not Wait: Fix Ulmarra's Blackspot campaign in support of the Ulmarra community's call for measures to be put in place to reduce road accidents in the village.
"This is the latest in a series of measures by the Government to improve safety in the area because the safety of residents and motorists is our top priority," Mr Gulaptis said.
"Speed cameras are a major incentive to slow down but only drivers can make the right decision; it is never OK to speed, especially on the current Pacific Highway.
"Better camera technology now means the face of the driver as well as the licence plate number can be identified, so there is no longer an escape clause for the dishonest."
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said this was something the Ulmarra community has fought hard for.
"Chris Gulaptis is a passionate advocate for his community. He strongly made the case for the camera to help improve safety and I am pleased Roads and Maritime Services has listened," Mrs Pavey said.
"Road safety experts have been working to ensure the right measures are taken and that the fixed speed camera is located in the best possible place."
The installation of the fixed speed camera comes after RMS research in the area including temporary installation of speed classification devices at both the southern and northern approaches to Ulmarra in February, and safety measures including extension of the 50km/h zone by 670m and the updating of warning signs.
According to the RMS, fixed speed cameras can take up to three months to install. This timeframe covers preparatory work, environmental impact studies, delivering power and cabling to the site, and engaging contractors.
When a fixed speed camera is newly installed or brought back into service after an extended period offline, it is set to "warning mode" for one month. This is also standard practice when the speed limit being enforced is changed. When warning mode is activated, drivers exceeding the speed limit are detected but they are issued with a warning letter instead of an infringement notice. At the end of this period,RMS checks the data to see if awareness of the camera and/or the speed limit has been raised. The camera is then made fully operational.
"RMS has delivered the fixed speed camera to the site next to the Pacific Highway at Ulmarra after listening to the concerns of the local community," and RMS spokesperson said.
"This follows a series of measures to moderate driving behaviour in the area including the operation of a mobile speed camera, the temporary installation of speed classification devices, the reduction of the local speed limit and the subsequent extension of this reduced speed zone."