Matt Greenop on motoring

Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: Staying out of trouble

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Those who read this column in the build-up to the summer break would not be left wondering about my thoughts on the 4km/h speed "tolerance" introduced by the police.

Using acceleration to stay out of strife or to get past the unbearably slow is, in my mind, more about safety than it is about stupidity.

A lot of Driven readers shared their thoughts ( on the 4km/h allowance, and the reaction seemed to tip very much towards more tolerance when it's actually safer to give it a bit of stick rather than being stuck out on the wrong side of the road.

So this week when Horizon Research released the results of their survey into introducing a year-round 4km/h tolerance and proclaimed that most Kiwis would accept it, I was quite surprised.

Now Horizon is a respected company and their survey would have been conducted in a kosher manner, but there seems to be a glaring difference between their findings and how the discussion around it last year panned out.

The survey said 42.6 per cent of adults nationwide support a 104km/h tolerance during holiday periods with 30 per cent opposing it. It also said the same 42.6 per cent supported that buffer year-round, and 37 per cent were against it.

I'd love to see some stats on how often this 42.6 per cent actually drove their cars.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one who watched people trying to pass slow cars over the holidays. One of the worst was a young mum, kids in car, who was obviously trying not to exceed what her speedo (almost definitely wrongly) called 104km/h. She found herself trapped on the other side of the road and couldn't get back into the flow of traffic. It all ended very dangerously, with her heading for the shoulder of the wrong side, stopped pointing in the wrong direction.

Driven supports fair, sensible and safe enforcement of speed limits - but does understand that it'd be a lot less than 42.6 per cent of people who survive head-on collisions.

Do you think a year-round 4km/h tolerance is a good idea? Can you trust your speedo? Let us know below or at

- NZ Herald

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