Speed can cost more than fine

By Roger Moroney


I was pinged, and in the context of the speed rules rightfully so, by a speed camera recently.

It was not the first time, although it was the first time the speed I was adjudged to have been travelling at caught my eye.

The past couple had been 61km/h in a 50 zone, which I guess was a fair call, as I can read the speed signs and in hindsight failed to account for the fact I was driving an automatic ... and, to me, not having a manually selected gearbox is going to cause the speed to creep up.

But the recent one, in Kennedy Rd, nabbed me at 56km/h.

I was 6km/h over, yet half the cars which often pass me down that stretch (out of sight of the speed-camera box) are usually doing double that over the limit.

There was no loss of traction or erratic motoring behaviour.

I was simply a relative smudge over the limit.

But I take it on the chin because, at the end of the day, I exceeded the limit ...

and living not far across from Kennedy Rd, I can vouch for the fact that it is a regular venue for late-night and early morning high-speed dashes, so there is, arguably, a speed issue there.

So, by virtue of erring past the legal limit to the tune of 6km/h, I am a speedster.

Although not in the class of the chap snapped doing 199km/h aboard a sporty Italian Ducati motorcycle out Eskdale way.

Doubling the speed limit is not a good thing to do, whether the roadway is clear or not.

But it's a wonderful thing to do on a closed track, where anyone with a penchant for "opening it up" can do just that.

Which is what I have done on several occasions, and it is reassuring to know that while you're tipping 246km/h down the back straight at Pukekohe on two wheels the other guys out on the track with you are all going the same way.

That is where speed belongs.

Closed away behind the pit walls and track gates - at race days, test days or ride days.

But I have to say now that the rush of relative youth had in the past seen me push way, way past the limits aboard bikes on the open roads.

About a year after one knuckle-clenching dash through the backroads towards Fielding, I had a bad crash at Waipawa and yep, there was speed involved.

The Ducati pilot was lucky, not unlucky, to get nabbed and hit with a fine and disqualification.

It's a wake-up call.

Want to stretch the red-line in sixth gear and clear the speed demons from your head?

Sign up for a blast at a track day.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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