Crown limos broke speed limit almost 3900 times

By Felix Marwick

GPS data on Crown car use that shows almost 3900 instances of open road speed limits being broken. Photo / Getty
GPS data on Crown car use that shows almost 3900 instances of open road speed limits being broken. Photo / Getty

Data on the driving habits of the Government's limousine fleet have finally been released and they suggest Crown car drivers are breaking speed limits almost every day.

An OIA response given by Ministerial Services last year showed that while the Crown cars had picked up 13 speeding tickets all were in urban areas and none on the open roads.

That appears markedly at odds with the now released GPS data on Crown car use that shows almost 3900 instances of open road speed limits being broken in the first seven months of last year.

Despite these instances the Crown cars didn't get a single speeding ticket for breaking the 100 km/h speed limit over that same period.

VIP Transport manager Harley Spence can't explain why that might be the case.

"I don't know, you'd have to refer that to where the police are stationing their radars. I don't obviously have any comment or influence about where the police station their speeding radars."

Dog and Lemon motoring website editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said the speeding is completely hypocritical behaviour.

"These are the same politicians that lecture us on a weekly basis about the need to obey the speed limit but hey, they're exempt because they're at the top right.

Mr Matthew-Wilson said if it's good enough for the rest of us to get tickets when we go a few kilometres over the speed limit, it's good enough for them to get tickets.

The GPS data was finally released after intervention by the Office of the Ombudsmen.

Analysis of data for January alone reveals there were well over 50 trips where the speed limit was broken.

Mr Spence, who is in charge of the Government's VIP car fleet, said there have been discussions with the GPS provider who've assured them that some of the extremely high speeds recorded are to do with the actual GPS collection system.

"I would say that there is obviously some data which is very incorrect. You'll see there are references of speeds of 200 in 100km areas. That's obviously incorrect."

However, Mr Spence also said not all the incidents can be wrong.

Mr Matthew-Wilson disputes suggestions that some of the GPS data might be unreliable.

He said GPS data for things like speed is usually quite accurate.

"And certainly be accurate enough to be able to regard those as facts. They can't really say the GPS is wrong because I don't think the GPS is wrong. We've tested those units and they're usually quite accurate about things like speed."

Mr Spence said he has confidence in the professionalism of the drivers.

But he also said they expect the drivers to be consistent with speed limits.

"We're also having conversations with our drivers to reinforce that they are indeed delivering a safe and secure service."

- Newstalk ZB

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