John May is determined to see the fixed speed camera at Urunga re-activated.
John May is determined to see the fixed speed camera at Urunga re-activated. Bruce Thomas

Off-on row rages for speed camera

DEBATE over the decision to de-activate the speed camera at Urunga is still raging.

Road safety campaigner John May described the action taken by the State Government in July as "disastrous" and expressed fears that things would "return to the way they were" - with trucks speeding through Urunga and using the stretch like a big dipper with nothing to break their momentum - before the camera was installed.

Mr May lives in Urunga and said that since he aired these concerns in The Advocate he has been approached by more than a dozen locals who share his views saying they are "dismayed and outraged" that the camera was switched off.

The camera was one of 38 fixed speed cameras de-activated following a report released by the Auditor General. The review aimed to quell concerns speed cameras served as revenue raisers by looking into their impact on road safety.

Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has echoed the road safety concerns of locals and wrote to the NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay to push for re-activation of the camera.

"I am yet to receive a response from Mr Gay about the belief that the camera should remain but I will continue to lobby for the camera to be kept for the benefit of road safety."

Mr Fraser said he recently met Bellingen Shire Mayor Mark Troy to discuss the matter which was then raised at last week's council meeting. Bellingen councillors voted in favour of writing to the Minister for Roads urging him to revoke his decision.

This renewal of lobbying efforts comes as a relief to Mr May who was dissatisfied with the response from Minister Gay's office.

"They said the decision to remove the camera was based on it not delivering a road safety benefit and that crashes had increased in 'this location' with three crashes in the three years prior to the camera being there and six crashes in the three years after."

"This sample size is not adequate to draw inference in relation to the rate of crashes before and after the camera."

And so the campaign to have the camera switched back on continues.