The system that processes all traffic tickets is in danger of grinding to a halt as it struggles with the increased volume created through more speed cameras and frontline police staff, government ministers have been warned.
A briefing from Police and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to Police Minister Stuart Nash and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter says the Police Infringement Processing System (PIPS), which was developed some time ago and no longer fit for purpose, is being kept going at a "significant and ongoing cost for police, and there is a risk that the system will cease to operate."
"PIPS does not have the capacity to cope with increasing internal and external volume, such as that generated through an expanded safety camera programme alongside increasing numbers of frontline staff," says the briefing from Police Assistant Commissioner Sandra Venables and NZTA safety and environment director Harry Wilson.
The comments were made in the briefing to the ministers on the safety camera programme, which includes the introduction of the controversial point to point cameras.
Ministers are expected to announce the location of two point to point camera trials next month but the briefing confirms that they are already being trialled in non-enforceable mode at the location they will operate at in Auckland.
The briefing says the expansion of safety cameras, including point to point cameras, will require a new infringement processing system.
Genter confirmed earlier this year that the Government was considering introducing the cameras, which take a snap of a vehicle at the beginning and end of a stretch of road and calculates the average speed, to beat motorists who slow down for speed cameras.
Nash said he had been advised that the system continued to cope but would need replacing at some stage.
"I rely on Police to maintain the integrity of the system from within baselines for now."
Police would not say what its contingency plan was in the event the infringement system, which processes all traffic tickets issued by police, stopped working.
It also would not say how many infringements were being processed at present.
But figures in the briefing show that in 2017/18, police issued close to 700,000 notices from speed and red light cameras alone.
Police National Road Policing Manager Superintendent Steve Greally said Police, the Ministry of Transport, and NZTA were currently considering options for a replacement.
That work was being carried out alongside the work on point to point camera trials, he said.
Greally also confirmed the NZTA had installed point to point cameras at the site of a future trial in Auckland but they were not operating in enforcement mode.
"An announcement on the location of average speed camera trial areas and the timing of the trials is expected to be made next month.
"No enforcement activity will be undertaken and no infringement notices will be issued prior to the commencement of these trials, and the locations of the trial sites will be well publicised, well in advance of any enforcement activity," he said.
The Government is also looking at ways to increase the number of traffic cameras, the briefing said.
The current numbers are 48 static speed cameras, 43 mobile speed cameras and three red light cameras.
Auckland Transport (AT) also operates red light cameras at six sites and is working on a further six.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has previously said 42 cameras will be added over 10 years.