Bay drivers are ticketed less than anywhere else in the country for driving too slowly.

Police have handed out 20 tickets in the Bay for slow or inconsiderate driving since 2013, fewer than any other region in the country.

In comparison, Southern district drivers were ticketed 130 times for the same offence in 2015 alone. Just two drivers in the Eastern district were ticketed last year. And at $150 a pop, it's nothing to be sneezed at.

Automobile Association Hawke's Bay chairman David Murray said tickets were likely given to drivers holding up long tails of traffic without pulling over.

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He said it was not the slow driving itself that would cause a crash, but the frustration it caused following drivers.

"We've all experienced slow drivers and seen the resulting actions of people following, which probably are more dangerous than the slow drivers in the first place."

He said slow drivers could easily create a tail of vehicles on parts of State Highway 2 and 5, particularly on the drives from Napier to Gisborne, Taupo or Palmerston North.

"If you have a confidence issue, the nature of [State Highway 2] would tend to probably encourage people to drive a bit slower if they're not used to it," he said. "Sometimes I think passing lanes would be beneficial, but then you get people that speed up on a passing lane because the road gets nice and wide and they feel confident again, and away they go."

He said it wasn't necessarily older people, but was a combination including tourists and slow vehicles that held others up.

Nationwide, the South Island was the most ticketed part of the country, Southern, Tasman and Canterbury the top three ticketed districts.

Slow drivers were not a risk in themselves, but contributed to risks on the road, national road policing operations manager Inspector Peter McKennie said.

"The risk is around impatient drivers passing when it is not safe to do so," he said. "They need to appreciate that it is not worth the risk and the risks they take lead to minimal journey time savings.

"Police would also encourage motorists who are driving more slowly than others to find a safe place to pull over and let traffic pass."

It was difficult to know why there were so many tickets in the Southern district without close analysis, police said. However, not all slow drivers were tourists or the often-slated elderly drivers. "Typically speed eases as you get older but slow and inconsiderate driving is across different ages and groups.