Speeding tickets waived for police officers

By Amie Hickland

Almost half of all police officers caught speeding in the Wellington district last year had their tickets waived - although how many were in Wairarapa is unknown.

Police said they don't record any detail about where the speeding took place, other than the police district.

Statistics, obtained by the Times-Age under the Official Information Act, show 130 officers were caught speeding in 2011.

Of these, 68 officers had to pay their fines while 61 had their tickets waived.

National manager road policing Superintendent Carey Griffiths said policing requires officers to travel at higher speeds in some circumstances to respond to emergency situations.

"In cases where police officers have a legitimate need to respond urgently, tickets are waived," he said.

"Police are just as accountable for their driving as any member of the public, and we both demand and expect high standards. In any case where speed is not justified, we accept responsibility for this."

He said police have a responsibility to model good driving behaviour as they enforce the law for other motorists.

"In all cases where officers are ticketed for exceeding the speed limit, this is followed up and an explanation is sought," said Mr Griffiths.

"If the speed is not found to be justified in the circumstances, the driver responsible is required to pay any infringements incurred."

He said police staff receive regular driving training and there are a range of actions police could take in relation to driving breaches.

One officer who had to pay their ticket was 27 km/h over the limit, while in another incident an officer, who was 61 km/h over the limit, did not have to pay their fine.

Wairarapa police Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said she was unable to comment on the statistics as they were not specific to the area.


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