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Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Signpost speed cameras, AA says

The Automobile Association has dismissed plans to double police use of speed cameras is a revenue-gathering move. Photo / APN
The Automobile Association has dismissed plans to double police use of speed cameras is a revenue-gathering move. Photo / APN

The Automobile Association has dismissed concerns plans to double police use of speed cameras is a revenue-gathering move, but says fixed cameras should be signposted to alert motorists to their use.

The National Land Transport Programme 2012-15 announced yesterday included a "reserve allocation" of $10 million "to support the increased use of technology to manage speed".

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) spokesman Andy Knackstedt confirmed the money was earmarked for additional speed cameras.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges indicated the money could pay for more than 60 new cameras. There are 55 currently in use.

But former police officer Hamish Piercy, director of independent crash analysis company Longford Consulting, said there would be a "high degree of cynicism from the general public" about the extra cameras.

"It will have more of an impact on increasing the fines and revenue raised versus speed reduction.

I don't think, to be honest, we've seen the level of speed reduction from speed cameras that we were promised from the original introduction, in relation to crashes particularly," he said.

But AA spokesman Mike Noon told the Herald suggestions speed cameras were revenue gathering devices for the police were misguided. While the police did not receive any cash from fines imposed, an increase in tickets issued required additional police time and resources to process.

Mr Noon said the AA had no problem with more speed cameras, "because we don't have that many cameras at the moment but we do have a problem with speed".

The AA believed it was better to have fixed cameras installed at locations where speed was identified as contributing to accidents rather than dispatching police to operate radar guns there as was common practice.

"We are trying to move the police away from doing that sort of work and automate it so they can do higher work."

However, Mr Noon said the association believed fixed speed cameras should be signposted, "that removes any sort of claims of entrapment from the public".

Commenting on the prospect of more cameras, Gerry Brownlee said: "As Transport Minister I'd say it was probably a good mechanism to keep the safety side of driving in check - as a consumer I might have a different view."

- additional reporting APNZ

- NZ Herald

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