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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald

Why Hunter motorists with good driving records could skip fines

Drivers with a three-year clean driving record could dodge fines for minor driving offences in a newly-announced election policy from the NSW government.

Good drivers will be given a one-off chance to escape a fine for offences including low-range speeding, disobeying no left or right-hand turn signs or driving in a bus lane, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Those drivers will save $124 on fines where the speed limit was exceeded by less than 10km/h, $275 for ignoring a no left or right-hand turn sign, and up to $2200 for driving in a bus lane under the government's plan.

They will still receive a demerit point and the incentive will only be applied once every three years.

The promise from the government comes one day after NSW Labor revealed its own election promise to reward NSW motorists, offering to remove a demerit point after 12 months of good driving.

The election promise to wipe speeding fines comes one day after NSW Treasurer Matt Kean criticised Labor's policy, saying two-thirds of fatal accidents involved low-range speeding.

Metropolitan Roads Minister Natalie Ward also attacked the policy, saying two-thirds of fatal crashes in the past five years had involved drivers travelling less than 10km/h over the limit.

"There's no such thing as low-level safe speeding," Ms Ward told 2GB on Tuesday.

"We know that speed kills.

"This is a policy that overlooks victims and families."

Opposition roads spokesman John Graham called the government's policy the world's fastest U-turn.

"It's disappointing they dismissed our better, safer policy out of hand, just because they didn't come up with it," he said on Wednesday.

Labor's scheme is designed to incentivise drivers after the removal of mobile speed camera warning signs led to an escalation in the number of fines issued across the state.

The number of mobile digital speed camera fines issued when the speed limit was exceeded by 10km/h or less increased from 3222 in October 2020 to 27,855 by February 2021, Revenue NSW data shows.

To see more stories and read today's paper download the Newcastle Herald news app here.

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