Speeding Bay police officers busted

By Amy McGillivray

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About a third of the Bay of Plenty police officers nabbed for speeding in police cars last year had no valid excuse.

Figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times under the Official Information Act reveal 38 speed camera tickets were issued to police vehicles in 2011. Of these, 24 were waived and 14 fines were paid.

All of the fines were issued by permanent speed cameras or mobile speed camera vans.

Acting national road policing manager Acting Superintendent Rob Morgan said there were strict criteria for waiving fines.

"A notice is usually only waived when a legal defence applies for police officers undertaking urgent duty driving and responding to an incident."

The Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 lists the legal defences the emergency services have when undertaking urgent duty driving, he said.

Police Association vice-president Luke Shadbolt said the numbers were not unusual.

"Those figures don't surprise me. Usually about two-thirds get waived and about a third paid."

He said police officers were treated the same as members of the public when it came to speeding.

"The only ones that get waived these days are the ones for urgent priority one events," he said.

"We've got to justify it just like anyone else if we're going over the speed limit."

Priority one events include burglaries where the offenders were still in the house or violent assaults that were taking place at the time of the call-out, he said.

Speeding tickets were issued to the police officer who was driving and they were required to prove to the road policing manager, through records on the police computer system or their own notebook, they were attending an urgent job.

Mr Shadbolt said officers who did not provide an appropriate excuse were expected to pay the fine and are issued with demerit points the same as everyone else.

Read more in Tuesday's Bay of Plenty Times

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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