Zero tolerance fines net just $420

It's been labelled a revenue-gathering mission, but the police "zero tolerance" summer speed limit campaign contributed just $420 in fines.

This week, Police Minister Michael Woodhouse was forced to admit messages had been "a bit mixed" after controversy erupted over the campaign.

Late last year, police top brass warned motorists if they went just 1km/h over the speed limit they would be stopped. But between December 1 and Tuesday, just 14 drivers were ticketed. One was fined for going 1km/h over the speed limit, five for going 3km/h over and eight for going 4km/h over.

Each motorist was fined $30 and incurred 10 demerit points.

In comparison 13 drivers were fined in the corresponding period during 2013-14.

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark has called on police to refund the money to drivers.

He called the campaign a failure as the holiday road toll topped 17 -- more than double last year's.

"They should not underestimate the amount of damage this screw-up has done to their reputation and the sensible thing for them to do now is refund those fines," he said.

But a police spokesman said each fine was reviewed and police were satisfied they were issued appropriately.

By Amy Maas of the Herald on Sunday

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