A summer crackdown on speeding which will lead to fines for
drivers travelling more than 4km/h above the legal limit is
strongly supported by the public, a Herald-DigiPoll survey
Police have previously lowered the speed tolerance from
10km/h to 4km/h at long weekends and public holidays, but the
lower threshold has been in force for all of December and
runs until the end of January.
If the 62-day trial is successful, it could mark the end of
the 10km/h speed tolerance.
The poll showed that two-thirds of respondents felt that the
policy was fair because it was about safety. Just 29 per cent
said that it was unfair and was about raising revenue.
Police Minister Anne Tolley said the high level of support
for the lower speed tolerance was encouraging, and showed
that New Zealanders were taking the message to slow down
"This is a special time of year when New Zealanders should be
enjoying time with their families and friends and I don't
want anyone to have to suffer the trauma of being told that a
loved one has been killed on our roads," she said.
The minister pointed to the success of previous trials.
During Queen's Birthday Weekend in 2010 and 2011, a reduced
speed tolerance and greater police presence were believed to
have contributed to a 25 per cent drop in fatalities and
crash-related injuries compared to previous years.
"That means there is an average of 30 people alive today who
can celebrate Christmas who might not otherwise have been,"
Mrs Tolley said.
Speed cameras across the country have been set to the lower
tolerance level, which has been supported by a $350,000
marketing campaign funded by ACC.
Police were also introducing 28 brightly coloured highway
patrol vehicles to increase police visibility.
The Automobile Association said that for the lower tolerance
level to be successful it needed to be focused on trouble
spots - not just motorways and passing lanes - and had to be
combined with highly visible enforcement. The association
said that if the change simply led to an increase in speeding
tickets then it was a failure,
Ministry of Transport data showed that the proportion of New
Zealanders speeding on the open road had reduced since
records began 17 years ago. In 1996, the mean car speed was
102km/h and 56 per cent of drivers travelled more than
100km/h. In 2012, the mean speed was 95.6km/h and just 25 per
cent of drivers exceeded the 100km/h limit.
- By Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald