More than 90 tickets were handed out to drivers speeding through school zones each day on average during the first week of this term - while another 129 tickets were issued to drivers using cellphones or not wearing seatbelts during another police operation.

Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion said 464 speeding tickets were issued in relation to school zone breaches from July 25 to 29 as part of the police Back to School campaign.

Another 94 speeding tickets were issued outside of school zones during the same period.

Police across the country also ran a two-week campaign cracking down on people using cellphones while behind the wheel and people not properly restrained from July 25 to August 7.


In the Western Bay, police issued 49 tickets for drivers using their cellphones and 80 for seatbelt infringements.

Mr Campion said the results of the school campaign were "disappointing".

"The Back to School campaign is just to focus everybody's attention on schools and the unpredictable nature of school children," he said.

"There is serious risk of serious injury ore death if you happen to strike a young pedestrian.

"We're better than that. We need to concentrate on what we are doing and the environment we are in."

At the start of the school year, police issued 179 tickets during two weeks but only 22 were for speeding in school zones.

At the start of term 3, 2013 police issued 325 tickets during the campaign.

While ticket numbers in the most recent campaign were much higher, Mr Campion said it was hard to compare them because this term they had the help of two mobile speed camera operators.

When it came to people using phones while driving or not wearing seatbelts, Mr Campion said they were "no brainers".

"From January to March 2016, 41 per cent of vehicle occupants killed were unrestrained," he said.

"That's 28 people whose deaths may have otherwise been prevented if they had been restrained.

"The two seconds it takes to put your seatbelt on is a small price to pay for something that may very well save your life."

Mr Campion said driver distractions, particularly when it came to using cellphones, was a "very serious issue".

"By and large they are normal, law-abiding citizens and their attention is diverted away from driving and the is likely to end in serious injury or worse."

Mr Campion said people had been careful to abide by the law when it was first introduced so it was disappointing to see people resort back to their old habits.

"With technology these days you don't need to be messing with your phone while you're driving. There's a very real risk using your cellphone while you are driving."


Using a cellphone while driving:

$80 fine and 20 demerit points

Seatbelt infringement:

$150 fine