NSW Labor unveils driving demerit plan

Well-behaved NSW drivers will be able to have a demerit point expunged from their licence in 12 months if Labor wins government in March.

The scheme would give motorists a boost after the removal of speed camera warning signs led to a major uptick in speeding fines.

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.

"It's time we put safety back at the centre of our road rules, not revenue raising," NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns said on Tuesday.

"Under Labor the rules are simple - drive safely, get a point back."

Drivers must currently wait three years for demerits to be expunged from their licence.

Metropolitan Roads Minister Natalie Ward criticised Labor's plan, telling Sydney radio 2GB it was designed to win votes and was not concerned with safety.

"There's no such thing as low level safe speeding," Ms Ward said.

"Two-thirds of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes over the last five years were travelling less than 10 kilometres over the speed limit.

"We know that speed kills.

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

Late last year, former NSW roads minister Duncan Gay told a parliamentary inquiry the signs had been removed in good faith but it was the wrong decision.

The government reversed the unpopular signs policy last year, saying it had listened to the community.

It has since emerged about one-third of mobile speed cameras are not back on the roads, as the vehicles are too small to hold the signs.

"The advice from the vendors is that 47 of their vehicles in their updated fleet don't have the capacity to take those signs or will require significant modification, which includes potentially removing seats," Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary Tara McCarthy told a budget estimates hearing last year.

The government had received feedback that cameras were being concealed behind trees and poles and were not effective in getting drivers to slow down.

Opposition roads spokesman John Graham said removing the cameras had not achieved results, with the community viewing it as a revenue-raising exercise.

"So many NSW motorists were hit by the NSW Liberals' hidden speed camera scheme," he said.

"Some motorists told me they had never received a traffic infringement until the NSW Liberals' hidden speed camera scheme."