Freeway signs

Regular freeway commuters know only too well the pitiless consequences of being caught by the speed cameras at the Crafers interchange and Mt Osmond overpass at Leawood Gardens and they watch the variable speed signs like hawks.
But even the most savvy motorists have tales of the time they got pinged doing 60km/h in a 40km/h zone that seemed to stretch forever or the time they saw some hapless driver miss the reduced 70km/h sign because they were too busy avoiding an overtaking truck.
The freeway is a busy, dangerously steep road with plenty to distract the driver.
There are signs for this and signs for that – and motorists still have to keep a watchful eye out for semi-trailers pulling out of the truck lane and cars hurtling past in the right-hand lane.
So it is no surprise that the RAA has once again called for more effective signage than what currently clutters this major corridor.
More than 17,000 motorists were fined for speeding through the Leawood Gardens camera during 2014/15, accounting for nearly 10% of total fine revenue from fixed cameras in Adelaide and the surrounding areas.
What that revenue equates to is not articulated but late last year it was reported that the two cameras had generated nearly $6m in speeding fines in their first seven months of operation.
That’s quite a windfall for a cash-strapped State Government that can take the moral high ground and blame motorists for being inattentive or deliberately flaunting the law, which is what they continue to do when the RAA points out the over-representation of the Leawood Gardens camera.
The Government says those fined represent only a tiny fraction of those who actually travel past the camera.
However, the RAA rightly points out that a significant percentage of that fraction are doing at least 20km/h over the limit which suggests they just haven’t seen the variable speed sign alerting them to the speed change.
Nowadays a speeding fine like that will set a person back $800 or more – a week’s wages for many.
The fine does not match the crime.
If a Government is going to slug a family a week’s wages, it needs to make sure the speed limit signs can be clearly seen across all lanes.