A fixed speed camera located north of Whangarei will start snapping motorists for real next week.

The camera on a pole at Great North Rd at Kauri was installed last October but has only been in a testing phase since then with no official tickets issued.

That change will happen sometime next week — on a day police are not prepared to reveal.

It is the second fixed speed camera in Northland, the first being installed just south of Kaiwaka last May, and is part of a national project to have 33 cameras installed at high risk crash sites around New Zealand.


But the first one installed in May last year at Kaiwaka is still to become operational. Police said the speed camera in Kaiwaka continued to undergo testing, prior to being made operational.

"No infringement notices can be issued from the site, until the testing phase is complete and the camera's operation is approved by Police Infringement Bureau."

Police were unable to say when it would start snapping photos of offending drivers.

The newest camera will snap motorists exceeding the 80km/h limit that covers the section of road from Springs Flat to just outside Fonterra Dairy Factory. But police will not reveal what speed would activate the camera due to operational reasons

New Zealand Transport Agency reduced the speed from 100km/h to 80km/h from Kauri to Springs Flat in April 2015 to cut the number of high severity speed-related crashes.

Between 2008 and 2012 there were 40 crashes of which 24 per cent involved excess speed, which compared with a national average for the type of state highway of 13 per cent.

The section of SH1 had been the scene of many fatal and serious crashes over the past few years. Northland road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Row said the speed camera site was chosen in direct response to the high crash rates.

Given the number of crashes anything that could be done to slow traffic was being used and that included fixed speed cameras.

"It's quite simple, if you can bring the average speed down by 5km, we can reduce the road toll by 30 per cent."