GPS clocks lead-footed driver doing 121km/h heading north on motorway and 126km/h on the return trip

One day out hooning landed an Auckland Transport worker in trouble with bosses after being busted doing 126km/h on the Northern Motorway.

It wasn't just one breach of the 100km/h speed limit. Instead, GPS data showed the staff member raced up the Northern Motorway over the speed limit then raced back again.

The speeding Auckland Transport driver was among a cluster of staff members caught going over the limit this year through GPS devices installed in the ratepayer-funded cars.

The details were revealed to the Herald through the Official Information Act - a mirror of the request last month which revealed excessive speeding by staff at the New Zealand Transport Agency. Unlike NZTA, which was just getting used to the system, Auckland Transport's drivers had the system for three years and were still speeding well over the limit.


But like NZTA, Auckland Transport has a public safety role impressing on motorists the dangers of speeding. Its website warns drivers: "Speed is the single biggest road safety issue in NZ today. The faster you drive the more likely you are to crash and the more severe any injuries from that crash are likely to be. This is basic physics and it's relevant to all drivers, no matter how skilful you are."

The data covered from January this year and showed the worst bout of speeding was from a staff member on July 8. The heavy-footed driver's speed went over the limit around Dairy Flat - it hit 112km/h and stayed high until just past Waiwera where it was recorded doing 121km/h. The journey took from 12.13pm to 12.24pm.

A few hours later, the same driver was potted heading south. They were picked up doing 115km/h at 2.51pm, hit the 126km/h high at 2.55pm near Orewa and started to fade off the system at 3.03pm when they were recorded doing 112km/h near Fairview Heights.

The driver might have been speeding earlier but the Herald asked Auckland Transport to provide speeds over 110km/h. There were 446 incidents in which AT drivers were recorded exceeding that speed.

Auckland Transport communications manager Wally Thomas said the road safety team studied the GPS reports weekly and raised speeding with managers who spoke to drivers. He said the driver who hit 126km/h was subject to disciplinary action.

"Actions like this are obviously very disappointing and are viewed very seriously. All staff are expected to follow all road rules, all of the time."

He said the 173 fleet vehicles travelled more than 1.12 million kilometres and the 446 incidents included those in which the same car was recorded more than once. In the case of the driver who faced disciplinary action, it accounted for 22 occasions of excessive speed.

The data appeared to show seven other incidents of speeding at 120km/h or greater in the eight months the request covered.


Auckland councillor John Watson - whose Albany ward covers the area in which the speeding took place - said: "That's pretty excessive ... 126km/h ...

"If you're driving along in a car with an Auckland Transport symbol on the side of it, you'd have to wonder if members of the public would be looking at that wondering if that's the best model of driving on our system."