Travel 4km/h over the posted speed limit and expect to get a speeding ticket.

It's the succinct message from Northland Police as they urge motorists to think about their driving behaviour and decisions they make behind the wheel this Labour Weekend.

And they make no apologies for the tough line.

"The limit is the limit," Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson, road policing team leader, said.


"Any death on the road is too many. Road deaths are not just numbers and as officers we never lose sight of the real human loss and grieving behind every death on the road."

In Northland over the last five years police statistics show that there have 40 crashes over Labour Weekend where people have been injured and included one fatality, with more than half of all the crashes happening on state highways. A third of the crashes involved alcohol.

Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson with a hand-held breath testing device and new booze bus that will be out on Northland roads this Labour Weekend. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson with a hand-held breath testing device and new booze bus that will be out on Northland roads this Labour Weekend. Photo / Michael Cunningham

"There is no special power that makes you invincible on a holiday weekend," Dickson said
Police still had discretion when it came to issuing speeding tickets but those nabbed on static speed cameras of mobile speed cameras could expect a ticket in the mail.

A fixed speed camera at Kauri is one of the country's highest earners and there is also a fixed camera south of Kaiwaka.

John Williamson asks why North's Kauri speed camera generates $4.6m in fines in 12 months
Northland speed camera generates $4.8 million in fines

"Speed is a factor in nearly a third of fatal crashes and has a huge impact on the outcome of the crash. Speed is the single biggest determinant in whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed."

A team of nearly 50 dedicated road policing officers will be on duty in Northland this long weekend and have been rostered to patrol during peak periods.

Those high-risk times for crashes in the region are tonight between 7am and midnight, Saturday from 6pm to midnight, Sunday about 5pm and on Monday about 3pm as traffic heads south.


Police would be setting up checkpoints breath testing those stopped and also checking they were wearing seatbelts and not driving under the influence of drugs.

Northland leads the rest of the country when it comes to prosecutions for drugged drivers. To September this year there have been 68 drivers head to court.

Drivers suspected to be under the influence of drugs this weekend can expect to be taken to a police station and put through a compulsory impairment test. If they fail a blood test will be taken.

Last year in Northland alcohol and or drugs were confirmed as a factor in 12 fatal crashes.

"No officer wants to have to deliver the heartbreaking, life changing news that someone they love could be dead and they are needed at the hospital to help with identification."

Two specialised police cars fitted out with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology will be able to identify immediately high-risk drivers who might be disqualified or forbidden, as well as stolen vehicles or vehicles used in petrol drive-offs.

Those failing to display current registrations or warrants of fitness will also be identified in a split second.

Depending on traffic flow, the ANPR unit is capable of scanning up to 3000 plates in one hour.

A northbound "Driver Reviver Stop" will be held today on State Highway 1 at Uretiti. It will be staffed by volunteers from the Northland Road Safety Association and run between midday and 4.30pm. Drivers will have a change to take onboard refreshments and food while they stretch their legs and refocus before continuing their trip north.

Meanwhile the weather gods are smiling this long weekend with isolated early showers clearing and becoming fine in the east in this afternoon.

Tomorrow morning cloud gives way to sun which is the order of the day for Sunday. On Monday increasing cloud, with rain by evening is forecast.