336 fines paid by drivers of police vehicles in past year; 612 tickets waived because of 'need to respond urgently'.
The drivers of more than 300 police vehicles have been caught speeding and fined every year for the past five years, new figures show - with more than 2000 offending drivers ticketed during that period.
In the year to June 30, 336 fines were paid by drivers of speeding police vehicles. A further 612 tickets were waived.
National manager of road policing Superintendent Steve Greally said policing was unique in that it required officers to travel at higher speeds in some circumstances to respond to urgent and emergency situations.
Tickets were waived in cases where police officers had a legitimate need to respond urgently, Mr Greally 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 any instances where speeds were not justified were "disappointing" and appropriate action was taken.
"While ideally we'd like the number of infringements to be zero, this is in the context of police being on the road 24/7, clocking up around 90 million kilometres per year, with approximately 3100 vehicles on the road.
"However, in all cases where officers are ticketed for exceeding the speed limit, this is followed up and an explanation is sought. If the speed is not found to be justified in the circumstances, the driver responsible is required to pay any infringements incurred."
Mr Greally said staff received regular training and support to ensure they continued to drive safely and appropriately in the circumstances.
The 1077 police vehicles caught speeding by cameras across New Zealand between July 2014 and June 2015 was the highest number over the past five years.
Of these, 336 fines were paid, 612 were waived, eight were transferred from the liability of the district commander to the driver involved, and 121 are still outstanding.
The outstanding infringements have not yet been finalised.
There were 786 police vehicles caught speeding the year before - with 427 fines paid, 335 waived, 15 transfers of liability, and nine referred to court.
Police say the increase of almost 300 speed infringements this year was due to a change in speed camera policy, with the number of waived fines also increasing by a similar number during the same period.
The data, released under the Official Information Act to the Otago Daily Times, reveals that during the past two financial years the number of tickets paid by offending drivers decreased by 91.
Mr Greally said the 2014/15 data could not be compared to previous years because of a change in the way speeding infringements were recorded. Drivers of police vehicles with flashing lights visible caught by speed cameras were now issued notices, pending an explanation.
Caught: Speed camera notices for police vehicles breaking the speed limit
1 July 2010 - 30 June 2011
Fine paid: 487
Fine waived: 397
Transfer of liability: 36
Referred to court: 16
1 July 2011 - 30 June 2012
Fine paid: 477
Fine waived: 380
Transfer of liability: 24
Referred to court: 14
1 July 2012 - 30 June 2013
Fine paid: 313
Fine waived: 214
Transfer of liability: 7
Referred to court: 9
1 July 2013 - 30 June 2014
Fine paid: 427
Fine waived: 335
Transfer of liability: 15
Referred to court: 9
1 July 2014 - 30 June 2015
Fine paid: 336
Fine waived: 612
Transfer of liability: 8