The Police Association president doesn't think training police at high speeds on open roads is worth the potential risk.

An exemption to allow training drivers to exceed 100 km/h on roads was brought up to Police Minister Stuart Nash by a member at the Police Association conference last week.

Police staffers receive training as recruits when they enter police college. They are trained driving up to 120km/h on a private track and also practise driving at the appropriate speed limit on open roads and around towns.

The member said not being able to train at speed on open roads was "setting our members up to fail" because fleeing drivers were sometimes going up to speeds of 160km/h.


Officers were only allowed to go above the speed limit when urgent duty driving for an emergency.

The member said they needed to be able to train drivers to a higher standard for police pursuits.

"Driving around a racetrack ... there's no realism to that at all."

Police Association president Chris Cahill said the idea was worth exploring but it was probably not viable, as the risks were too great.

"One accident of an officer driving at those high speeds would not be worth the extra training that they would get,

"It has a level of interest given the number of fleeing-driver incidents police have to deal with, but the reality is, putting other road users at risk by doing it on the open road is probably a step too far."

Cahill said there was a balance between learning to drive at speed and doing it in an environment that was safe for police and members of the public.

Training at a racetrack wasn't perfect, as it didn't replicate what the roads in New Zealand were like, he said.


Minister Stuart Nash said he could look into seeing what the barriers were to driver training on open roads.

He also noted that the recommendation wasn't contained in the IPCA review of the fleeing driver's policy released in March this year.

Nash was yet to receive advice on the matter.

This year's review made no major charges to the fleeing driver policy, but highlighted eight recommendations to enhance police understanding and application of it.

They included changes to the way pursuits were handled, the training given to officers and the way events were recorded and investigated.