THERE should be just one question to answer during discussion over whether warning signs located near speed cameras across the state should be removed: Will the change save lives?
It's always seemed strange that speeding drivers receive a written warning that they were about to pass a fixed speed camera, but even stranger is the fact that so many still get caught.
A fine example in our own backyard is the speed camera on the Great Western Highway at Mount Victoria, well-known to all Bathurstians who regularly drive to Sydney and back.
The cameras have been there for four years now but they still caught almost 17,000 speeding drivers in the 2018-19 financial year alone.
Figures from Transport for NSW show there there 8701 fines issued to eastbound drivers in the 12-month period, worth a total of $1,618,619, and a further 8043 ($1,570,006) fines issued to westbound drivers.
And that's just a single set of cameras.
Across the state there were more than 300,000 tickets issued in the 12-month period, pouring $72 million into state coffers.
So is that an argument to keep the warnings or an argument to get rid of them?
On the one hand, if 300,000 people were caught speeding then there were many millions more who had kept to the speed limit as they passed the state's cameras. So maybe the warnings worked.
On the other hand, we all know that while most drivers instinctively slow as they approach a speed camera, most simply speed up again once they pass them. So maybe the warnings haven't worked.
The reality is, this is not only a debate about road safety as far as the government is concerned; also of concern is how to handle the public relations fallout surrounding the proposal.
It was just a year ago that the government (no doubt with an eye on a looming state election) rejected suggestions the warning signs would be removed.
A change of minister, however, has brought a change of heart and the lure of millions more in fines revenue must be a great temptation.
Again, though, will removing warning signs save lives? Maybe, maybe not.
But we can be sure that removing them won't cost lives so there's no good reason to keep them.