An increase in crashes involving trucks and 'middle-aged men on motorbikes' is causing New Zealand's road toll to spike, not speedsters, a road safety advocate says. editor Clive Matthew-Wilson added that the "idiots who cause most fatal accidents tend to ignore speed limits anyway."

Matthew-Wilson spoke out after Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter revealed in today's Herald on Sunday that she was considering installing new point to point speed cameras, which calculate an average speed of a vehicle over a certain distance.

Genter said the new cameras were just one of a raft of new measures to help combat the ever-increasing road toll, after they proved successful in Australia, the UK and Europe.


However, where they would go and how much they would cost was still being assessed.

"Obviously we want to target the highest-risk corridors because we want to reduce our horrific and increasing rates of deaths and serious injuries on the road," she said.

National's associate transport spokesman Brett Hudson was against them while the AA said the Government would have to convince the public that they were the extra investment.

Matthew-Wilson said speed cameras alienated ordinary motorists without affecting the behavior of the tiny minority who cause most fatal crashes.

He sighted a 2009 AA analysis of fatal accidents which stated many fatal accidents were caused by "people who don't care about any kind of rules".

A typical speed advisory sign shows the motorist how fast they're travelling, without issuing a ticket. Photo/
A typical speed advisory sign shows the motorist how fast they're travelling, without issuing a ticket. Photo/

"These are men who speed, drink, don't wear safety belts, have no valid licence or WoF – who are basically renegades. They usually end up wrapped around a tree, but they can also overtake across a yellow line and take out other motorists as well. "

He said the Government's own statistics showed that speed alone was a factor in just 15 per cent of fatal crashes.

"About 85 per cent of the road toll occurs below, not above, the speed limit. Of this 15 per cent of accidents that occur above the speed limit, almost all are caused by either yobbos, impaired drivers or outlaw motorcyclists."

He instead suggested speed advisory signs, which showed motorists what speed they were doing, without issuing a ticket, and move freight from large trucks on to rail.

"Make it harder to get a motorbike licence and re-target enforcement to high-risk groups, such as drivers using cellphones and not wearing seatbelts."

He said to date there had been no fatal crashes on any of the new Roads of National Importance.

"There's nothing magical about these roads: the major reason for their safety is simply that they have median barriers and roadside fencing, so that simple mistakes don't turn into fatalities."