Record number of speedsters caught on camera

By Hamish McNeilly

New Zealand speed cameras notices record levels. Photo / Otago Daily times
New Zealand speed cameras notices record levels. Photo / Otago Daily times

New Zealand speed camera notices have hit record levels.

Figures released under the Official Information Act reveal 652,346 speed camera notices were issued to motorists in the 2011-12 fiscal year - an increase of 5885 on the previous year.

The three Auckland police districts of Waitemata, Auckland City and Counties Manukau accounted for just under half of all the speed notices issued.

"Ideally, we want the numbers to be coming down, because we want people complying with the speed rather than us ticketing them," acting road policing operations manager Inspector Peter McKennie said.

The increase was small compared with the 185,932 rise in 2010-11, up from 460,529 in 2009-10 to 646,461 the next year - largely the result of police enforcing a lower speed tolerance in the holiday period.

Despite the record number of notices, police were forecasting the number of notices was likely to plateau, said Mr McKennie.

"We are not in the business of wanting to issue lots of tickets. We are in the business of keeping people safe on the roads."

The majority of speed camera fines ranged between $30 and $80, with the maximum $630 notices given to the few motorists snapped driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit.

Police did not collate data on those people being ticketed because of the "sheer volume" of notices, but confirmed they did monitor repeat driving offenders from the commercial driving sector.

Nationwide, police operated 12 fixed cameras, which were frequently moved around other fixed sites, and about 45 mobile cameras targeting largely high crash areas, Mr McKennie said.

Police were assessing their static cameras and "we are looking at new technology to replace them".

"It is quite likely the number of fixed cameras will increase."

The introduction of speed cameras had helped to reduce speeds on the road and the road toll, and the figures indicated that they were effective.

All fines went into the Government's consolidated fund, Mr McKennie said.

"We are not in the business of trying to issue lots of notices and trying to gather revenue. All we want is for people to drive safely within the speed limits, and also to drive to the conditions."

Waitemata recorded the highest number of notices issued in 2011-12 with 134,776, but this was down on the 154,354 during the previous 12 months.

Police did not record the amount of revenue paid for each speed camera.

But the country's most prolific site, on State Highway 1 in Sanson, resulted in 12,106 notices during 2011-12.

The South Island's most prolific camera was in Caversham Valley Rd, near Lookout Pt in Dunedin, snapping 3304 motorists over the year-long period.

Snapped speeding

*652,346 in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

*Up 5885 on the previous year.

*Auckland police districts accounted for just under half.

- Otago Daily Times

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