Bay of Plenty's newest speed camera has racked up nearly $30,000 in fines within its first month of operation in one of the region's worst black spots.

But in a regional breakdown of other speeding tickets dished out by police, Rotorua drivers appear to be sticking to the speed limit.

Ōtamarākau School principal Andrea Dance says the camera is reassuring for teachers, students and families. Photo / George Novak
Ōtamarākau School principal Andrea Dance says the camera is reassuring for teachers, students and families. Photo / George Novak

In June, Rotorua police issued $6970 of fines from mobile cameras, contributing to a total of $36,770 in fines from mobile cameras in the Rotorua area from January to June.

By comparison, Western Bay of Plenty police issued $33,040 mobile cameras fines as part of a total of $177,080 for those six months, and Taupō issued $11,580 in June and $64,940 from January to June.

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Meanwhile, the new fixed camera on State Highway 2, between Ōtamarākau and Pukehina, netted $29,110 for that month.

The camera was installed mid-June on a 100km/h stretch of road notorious for serious and fatal crashes. Of the 85,869 drivers who travelled through the area that month, 264 were caught speeding.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe said when people crashed, regardless of who or what was to blame, speed was "the single factor that most affects the outcome; if and how you survive the crash".

Each area where speed cameras were installed nationwide had been identified as having a high crash risk, including SH2, he said.

"We know from international experience that safe speed cameras have an impact on slowing people down, particularly around the sphere of influence of the camera."

Crowe did not respond to queries specifically about Rotorua drivers.

National operations manager road policing Inspector Peter McKennie said the fines were not about revenue collecting because police did not keep the money made.

Money from fines goes into the Crown's consolidated fund.

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"We're only interested in the impact the cameras have on encouraging people to slow down to safe and appropriate speeds, so they get to their destination safely," McKennie said.

There have been several serious or fatal crashes on SH2 at Pukehina and Ōtamarākau over the years. Most recently, Christopher Roughton, 35, and Anna-Jo Liddell, 28, were killed on September 14 when their car crashed into a large truck.

Pukehina fire chief Errol Watts, who regularly attends such crashes, backed the installation of the fixed speed camera.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe says speed is
Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe says speed is "the single factor that most affects the outcome; if and how you survive the crash". Photo/file Photo / File

Watts said the brigade was often called out to tipped trucks which had taken the Ōtamarākau bends too fast. He expected the camera would help reduce the number of crashes and encourage drivers to be more mindful.

"The road has gotten so much busier; it's quite incredible."

The main danger appeared to be frustrated drivers taking risks while overtaking other vehicles.

"The road is at a point where you are pretty much stuck [with] whatever you're behind for as long as you get to where you are going. And there's not that opportunity to pass like there used to be."

The speed camera is among 33 installed throughout New Zealand as part of a $10 million fixed-camera expansion, announced in July 2013.