Police pay fines for speeding while on duty

By Cassandra Mason

3 comments
Eight Northland police officers were caught speeding on duty last year.
Eight Northland police officers were caught speeding on duty last year.

Half of the speeding tickets slapped on Northland police last year were issued to cops speeding outside of sanctioned emergency duties.

Figures obtained under the Official Information Act show eight Northland police officers were caught speeding while on duty last year. Four paid the fine, two were waived and two cases are outstanding.

But the number of speeding tickets issued to Northland police was well down on the previous 12 months.

Fifteen of the district's officers were caught speeding in patrols cars in 2012, nine of whom paid their fine while six had their tickets waived.

Officers can have fines waived if they provide a justified reason for speeding, under the Land Transport Road User Rule 2004.

Northland road policing manager Inspector Murray Hodson said officers had to prove the speeding was for a lawful purpose.

This included responding to an emergency or trying to catch up with an offender driving on the road.

"Staff understand that a thorough and robust investigation will commence if they are subject to a speed camera fine matter," he said.

"Staff are also aware of the importance of using their red and blue lights and sounding siren ... if they travel in excess of the speed limit."

Nationally, 502 speeding tickets were issued to police officers last year - 129 of which were waived.

National manager road policing Superintendent Carey Griffiths said police vehicle drivers caught speeding were treated no differently to members of the public.

The drivers of police vehicles caught speeding all received fines, which were only waived if they could "prove that the alleged wrongdoing took place in the execution of their duty".

Offending officers had to submit a report outlining the circumstances of the offence, and could face further disciplinary action if the explanation wasn't acceptable, he said.

Automobile Association general manager of motoring affairs spokesman Mike Noon said he was confident the review process was robust enough that officers weren't having their tickets waived without good reason.

"Police have been a bit more rigorous in the last few years about actually making their officers pay their fines. It's not a good look for police who are not rushing to an emergency ... to be getting tickets."

A "strictly enforced" reduced speed threshold of 4km/h, credited with successfully reducing road deaths over summer, will run until the end of the Anzac break on April 28.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 24 Jul 2014 05:32:00 Processing Time: 974ms