Police figures show of the 918,082 infringement tickets issued in the country during the past financial year, only 2672 were from Wairarapa.

By comparison, in the Wanganui region more than 14,000 tickets were handed out and, in Rotorua, more than 17,000 motorists were pipped.

Compared with the nation's speediest driver, who clocked in at 200km/h, Wairarapa's fastest driver for the period was caught at 146km/h.

Masterton Road Safety sergeant Chris Megaw said high fuel costs were making motorists more speed-conscious.


"I would say speeds are coming down or staying very similar due to fuel economy," Mr Megaw said.

More tickets were issued in Wairarapa in the previous years (ticket numbers in 2009/10 and 2010/11 topped 4500), which may have been due to changes in limits around schools.

"They've lowered the tolerance past schools and a lot of people are getting $30 tickets past schools," Mr Megaw said.

It was encouraging to see that the number of fatal crashes linked to speed had remained relatively low, he said.

Figures show one fatal crash linked to speed took place during each 12-month period since 2009.

"But, obviously, one is still one too many for a family to deal with," he said.

Nationally, more than $80 million in police fines were handed out for speeding.

Despite ticket numbers remaining steady in the past two financial years, fines have dropped by about $3 million, to $80,155,710 in 2011/12.

These figures do not include fines for speedsters caught driving at more than 50km/h over the limit because they are imposed by the court system.

National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths said many speed-related crashes were caused by motorists travelling at 10 km/h over the speed limit.

"Traditionally [police] has exercised their discretion and not issued notices to these drivers.

"Police believe reducing speed tolerance on holiday weekends and other high-risk periods is one of the best ways of reducing mean speeds below posted speed limits," Mr Griffiths said.

The number of fatal crashes linked to speed have also declined, dropping by a third in the last three financial years, according to the N Z Transport Agency. After spiking at 100 in 2009/2010, fatal speed-related crashes dropped to 91 the following year then 66 in 2011/2012. Overall, fatal and serious speed-related crashes dropped by about 16 per cent during the three years.

Mr Griffiths said hundreds of police staff worked towards enforcing speed safety. "All police districts conduct regular speed campaigns.

"These campaigns can range from addressing a particular problem in a high-risk area to being part of a national speed campaign."