Between Dec 1 and yesterday afternoon there had been 36
deaths on the roads, compared with 51 in the corresponding
period in 2012.
An extra 58,000 motorists were caught speeding because of
the lower-tolerance speed limit at holiday weekends in the past
two years - and police bosses are not ruling out making the
The speed tolerance is normally 10km/h above the limit, but
since Queen's Birthday weekend 2010 has been lowered to 4km/h
for holiday weekends when traffic volumes are higher.
Figures released under the Official Information Act show
there were almost 115,000 speeding offences recorded on
public holidays and over long weekends in the past two years
and about half were the result of drivers travelling between
5km/h and 10km/h over the speed limit.
The lower tolerance would have generated a significant amount
in fines - police issued a total of 92,503 infringement
notices for speeding offences between Labour Day 2012 and
last Queens Birthday weekend worth a total of $5.7 million.
The lower threshold is currently being trialled outside
holiday weekends for the first time. The assessment period
began on December 1 and will end on January 31 when police
will decide whether it could become permanent.
National Road Policing Manager Superintendent Cary Griffiths
said there was no magic bullet when it came to improving road
safety, but there was a significant drop in road deaths over
the time of the trial.
A full evaluation would be made. "We've certainly seen the
results from this - the questions will be, would we see the
same results if it was done permanently or is the fact there
is a change and a whole lot of advertising around it?
"We have to look at a whole range of factors."
Between December 1 and yesterday afternoon there had been 36
deaths on the roads, compared with 51 in the same period in
"That's 15 more Kiwis who are walking around who wouldn't be
last year. The whole aim of the summer programme is exactly
that, to pull down the deaths and injuries which we know can
Mr Griffiths said feedback from road policing staff indicated
motorists had seen the advertising, admitted slipping up and
had accepted the $30 fine (for being between 4km/h and 10km/h
over the limit) with good grace.
Last month there were 23 deaths which was the lowest December
since monthly records began in 1965.
The previous January had 18 deaths.
"That was extraordinarily low and the first time under 20
since monthly records began. This month is tracking virtually
the same, the same number of fatal crashes (12) but one more
fatality - so 13 deaths versus 12 at the same time last year.
So we are on track at present for the second lowest or lowest
January on record."
The Automobile Association surveyed 10,000 members just
before Christmas and found 57 per cent backed the lower
tolerance, with 82 per cent wanting police to retain the
10km/h limit for passing lanes and motorways.
• 114,536 speeding offences recorded on public holidays and
long weekends in 2012 and 2013.
• 92,503 resulted in infringement notices worth $5.7 million.
• About half of speeding offences were the result of drivers
travelling between 5km/h and 10km/h over the limit.
• An extended trial reducing the speed tolerance from 10km/h
to 4km/h began on December 1 and ends on January 31.