Speeding in high-risk area slammed

Inspector Mel Aitken
Inspector Mel Aitken
Police have slammed ''disgraceful'' driving behaviour near a high-risk Dunedin intersection yesterday.

Officers issued 24 speed notices to motorists speeding down Pine Hill Rd-State Highway 1 into Cumberland St, in just over an hour.

Poor weather and road conditions did not deter motorists and the highest speed recorded was 70kmh in the 50kmh area, Dunedin Clutha Waitaki area prevention manager Inspector Mel Aitken said.

''Disgraceful results,'' she said.

The operation was the latest in a month-long campaign aimed at targeting dodgy driving behaviour in the city.

Another 10 motorists were issued with infringement notices for offences including failure to wear seatbelts and using a cellphone while driving.

Insp Aitken said the the intersection with Great King St was ''high-risk in terms of crashes''.

Police would continue to target poor driving behaviour, ''in an effort to reduce the harm to all road users'', she said.

Good on the Police

But really, labelling this "disgraceful" is a bit drammatic and it doesn't really help. I'd like to know what proactive strategies the Police have in mind for targeting "poor driving behaviour" beyond merely imposing trivial fines for a statistically insignificant portion of road users. Negative reinforcement doesn't lead to a lasting change in behavior because the moment people feel that nobody is looking they will do as they please. If the Police really want driver behavior to change then they're going to have to get a bit more creative. Of course, the only down side to 100% driver compliance would be zero traffic infringement revenue......

Joke highway

The biggest joke is this country's insistence in calling single lane roads state highways when in fact anywhere else in the developed world they would be called minor roads. Crashes here are nearly always caused by centre lane crossing or impatience, and until they dual carriageway the entire so-called state highway system this will never end. You show me a highway in the UK where the speed limit is 50kmh. The road into Dunedin is not a highway!


Oh the evil scapegoat. How about red light running, tailgating, lane merging/switching, driving slow and stopping in the middle of the road and double or even triple parking?

It's a long downhill stretch

And as such, most vehicles in a high gear will accelerate from 50 to 70kph on their own with no driver input down this piece of road.

As we already know how unobservant most Dunedin drivers are, it comes as no surprise to me that there was that many caught, as if they were observant, they would have spotted the car parked above the bridge, as I did.

There is no problem with the Great King St intersection. The problem is with the drivers that fail badly to look left before proceeding from the Stop sign.

Simply put, the driving skills of many in Dunedin is appalling. 

Battle lost

We don't know what to do to curb the road toll and accident rates. That's because our hands are tied behind our backs. We should be focused on actual car handling skills, following the road rules, road conditions, separating huge vehicles from the small and limiting speed, but all except speed are very tricky and costly to address and nobody will thank you because so many drivers are utterly terrible and physically incompetent. So instead we focus only on speeders as if they are evil personified, because it's very easy to monitor and creates that lovely revenue. Lets change our Police logo to Disney because it's a Mickey Mouse outfit...

Dunedin driving

You'd think that people would know better, wouldn't you?  Apart from the road code, most driving is really commonsense so it makes you wonder, doesn't it?

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