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Speeding fines withdrawn for thousands of Aussie drivers

Police say motorists will be reimbursed after a subtle reduction to the speed limit on a Melbourne road led to a 'significant' rise in fines.

Thousands of motorists will have a little bit more money than they expected after Victorian Police announced nearly 4,000 speeding fines will be withdrawn, citing driver confusion on a busy Melbourne road after a change to roadside signage.

The speed limit along Arden St in North Melbourne was reduced in April last year from 60km/h to 40km/h, evidently catching out plenty of drivers.

"Victoria Police identified significantly high levels of non-compliance at this location," police said.

However some 3,904 speeding fines issued to motorists along that stretch of road from July 1 last year to January 3 this year, will no longer stand.

While authorities said there was nothing wrong with the speed detecting cameras along the route, it was unfair for drivers who were perhaps unaware of the lower limit.

Cars pictured driving along a Melbourne road where a speed camera is positioned.
Victoria Police say a lack of awareness about a reduction in the speed limit led to a surge in fines. Source: AAP

"It appears this is likely due to drivers being unaware the speed limit had recently been reduced. In fairness to affected drivers, fines issued will be withdrawn," Victoria Police said.

"There is no issue with mobile road safety cameras deployed at the location."

Only drivers who were caught travelling between 40km/h and 60km/h will have their fines rescinded. Those caught driving over the previous speed limit will still incur their fine and demerit cost.

Yahoo News Australia understands the Department of Justice and Community Safety will reimburse any drivers who have already paid their speeding infringement, while the Department of Transport and Planning will rectify all applicable demerit points.

Speed limits in Victoria are determined by the Department of Transport, in conjunction with local councils. In this particular case, the City of Melbourne council was behind the reduced speed limit on Arden St, citing a demand from residents "to improve safety and traffic management".

NSW mulls change to point-to-point speeding cameras

Car, ute and van drivers speeding down highways in NSW could soon be fined with average speed cameras.

More than seven million registered vehicles take to NSW roads each year but the 37 point-to-point cameras statewide only monitor a few hundred thousand heavy vehicles – but that could soon change, meaning speeding drivers would have very little place to hide on the road.

Average speed cameras positioned above Sydney highways.
Average drivers could eventually be targeted by point-to-point speed cameras. Source: 7News

On the sidelines of a road safety summit on Thursday, Roads Minister John Graham left the door open to lifting the heavy-vehicle-only restriction.

"The government will look at the evidence here," he told reporters. "We're not putting a position today about any individual action that we need to take."

Currently, locations of the point-to-point cameras (seen here on a state map) range from the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the city's ring of tollways to a 94km stretch of the Newell Highway in the state's west.

Meanwhile speed camera warning signs, currently mandated in the state despite puzzling road safety experts, will not be removed.

Mr Graham denied such a change was needed as the warnings were important to maintain community support, they helped driver education and were backed by the NRMA.

The two policies this week were identified as easy, cheap solutions to help halt the rising number of deaths on Australian roads. "These are two very simple things to just go: this is what everyone else in the country is doing," Australasian College of Road Safety chief executive Ingrid Johnston argued.

with AAP

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