Key Points:

Police officers were caught 685 times by speed cameras last year, it was reported today.

Radio New Zealand obtained the figures under the Official Information Act.

However, 435 tickets were waived because they were on their way to emergencies.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said the story was a media beat-up.

"Police officers do thousands of kilometres a year and they occasionally get caught speeding," Mr O'Connor told nzherald.co.nz.

He said that if they do not have an excuse and cannot produce evidence that they were heading to an emergency, including showing a job number, they get fined like anyone else.

The National Party's police spokesman, Chester Borrows, said officers were expected to abide by the law in the same way as the public, and their Speed Kills campaign should be backed by their own actions.