Thousands of speed tickets cancelled

An administrative error means more than 8500 speeding tickets issued to Invercargill residents have to be refunded or cancelled.

Between November 4 and December 26 last year, police issued 8572 speeding infringement notices from a fixed speed camera on Otatara Rd after the Invercargill City Council temporarily changed the speed limit from 100kmh to 70kmh when work on the upgrade the Stead St stopbank started, which diverted the traffic on to the road.

In the previous six months, only 281 notices were issued.

All tickets issued between November 1 and January 20 this year will be cancelled or refunded.

A police spokeswoman said 70kmh limit had been enforced until January 14, when police became aware of a procedural error related to the setting of the temporary speed limit and the time of day the limit would be in effect, the spokeswoman said.

The council had since “rectified the error” and the round-the-clock 70kmh limit, which would apply 24 hours a day, took effect from Monday, the spokeswoman said.

"Police have determined that the appropriate course of action is to cancel all incorrectly issued speeding infringement notices for exceeding the 70kmh limit issued during the period."

If someone had already paid, they would be refunded.

The Invercargill City Council was unable to respond to question about the setting of the limit yesterday.

Ultra Gas Plumbing & Drainage owner Bryan Haldane said the work and restrictions were "dumped" on residents without consultation and he was even more surprised when several speeding tickets arrived at his home.

In the 40 years he had been living in the suburb he had never had a speeding ticket, but since November he had received 15, ranging from 79kmh to 90kmh.

"I think this was completely wrong and disrespectful for the community.

There was no sign and nothing had been said about speed cameras or modifications of the speed camera, he said.

His employees had accumulated about $2500 in fines since the changes, he said.

"These guys are not crazy drivers. None have ever lost their licences. They are trying to get to the job.

"But none of my tickets exceed 100kmh ... there was no signage. There are 70kmh signs dropped overnight and a whole lot of tickets."

Mr Haldane was pleased with the decision of the police to give residents a "clean slate".

"I’m absolutely happy and excited to hear they will cancel our tickets. I think it is fair."

luisa.girao@odt.co.nz

Comments

Revenue gathering gone wrong.
How is Otatara Rd carrying half the traffic that Stead St used to at 100km/h, suddenly more dangerous than Stead St was with ALL that traffic?

 

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