The last twelve months have proved the most expensive in history for Tamworth's bad drivers, new statistics show.
The city's drivers were slammed by a record 684 speeding fines worth $106,617, courtesy of the city's speed cameras alone.
The enormous 2020-21 haul smashes the 2015-16 record of 249 fines worth $43,226, according to statistics published by Revenue NSW.
Drivers had an even easier time during the 2019-20 period, which covered the region's COVID-19 lockdown, paying just $8,446 in fines as a result of speed cameras.
But, while automated fines have skyrocketed, human beings have scarcely issued any more fines at all.
Highway patrol in the Oxley Police district issued 7,172 fines worth $1,928,119 in the last financial year, slightly fewer than the year before.
In the New England Police District highway patrol slugged 4,205 people $1,394,279, up from $1,043,134 the year before.
Highway patrol Inspector Kelly Wixx, whose region covers both districts, said there were a number of factors behind the moving statistics.
"COVID restrictions has reduced the amount of vehicles on the road, a lot of our staff have been utilised at border closures for much of last year. And it could also be the fact that drivers are obeying the road rules and being safe on the road," she said.
"There's always going to be that small percentage of drivers who chose not to obey road rules. In general I think people, they do comply with the road rules, so it's sort of hard to say."
She said the main factor was probably just a reduction in the number of people coming to, or driving in, rural areas.
Since the end of the lockdowns, the biggest new threat on the region's roads has been an increase in holidayers towing caravans or with dangerously overloaded personal vehicles, and recent wet weather, she said.
The statistics reflect an enormous state-wide fine haul for the NSW government. Revenue NSW statistics show speed camera fine revenue doubled from $105,559,424 in 2019-20, to $207,410,805 statewide in 2020-21.
The state government removed mobile speed camera warning signs in November 2020 and deployed new multi-directional speed cameras.
In Tamworth, the busiest months were June, which cost drivers 104 tickets worth $17,192, and May, which cost 171 tickets worth $26,169, the costliest single month on record.
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