Speed camera runs hot Drivers hammered for slight infringements
Don’t mention the words ‘‘ speed camera’’ and ‘‘Whitford Brown’’ to Josie Campbell.
The Titahi Bay resident has given up taking exercise classes at Horouta Marae after getting two fines totalling $200 in two weeks from the speed camera in Whitford Brown Ave.
The camera began operating in September. The speed limit has been 50kmh since 2008.
‘‘One was for [travelling] 64kmh and the other 67kmh,’’ she said. ‘‘I thought it was a 70kmh zone. It goes to show you should never assume.’’
In 2008, air accident investigator Ron Chippindale died after being hit by a car in Whitford Brown Ave. After his death, the speed limit was lowered, the road was made into a single lane in each direction and a wire median barrier was installed.
Campbell took issue with the lack of signage indicating it was a 50kmh zone and wondered how many other people had been caught as they travelled downhill past the camera.
Because tickets were not issued immediately, many drivers may have been caught several times before the first fine arrived in the mail, she said.
She had anecdotal evidence of people who had been caught driving at between 51kmh and 54kmh past the camera.
‘‘A guy in his 80s got a fine and he’s never had one in his life,’’ she said. ‘‘People are going to say, ‘Don’t speed, then, it’s your own fault’. I hold my hand up that I was going too fast.But some of the speeds [that led to fines] seem low.
‘‘ It’s not like you’re driving through a residential area. I won’t drive up there any more.’’
After posting questions on Facebook about the Whitford Brown speed camera last Wednesday, Kapi-Mana News received more than 60 replies within hours.
Many were from people grumbling about being fined for going under 8kmh over the speed limit.
Inderjeet Singh Dhillon said he had received four fines totalling $120 between December 20 and January 28, for speeds from 54kmh to 58kmh. ‘‘I’m not going that way any more,’’ he said.
Rachel O’Neill said her mother, who is in her 80s, was fined five times in a month.
Paul Zimmerman said he was fined $80 going up the road and then $30 going down five minutes later.
Adrienne Norris said she got three fines in five days and Leanne Denz said she received two fines in one day and her husband got one for going 52kmh.
The police maintain no fines have been issued for speeds under 55kmh past a speed camera. Senior sergeant Ian Martin, the acting Wellington district road policing manager, said the infringements have been double checked after Kapi-Mana News inquiries.
‘‘This [check] confirms all the infringements have been issued legitimately,’’ he said. ‘‘ The vast majority has been in response to motorists exceeding the speed limit during the holiday period, where there was a reduced threshold of 4kmh.
‘‘None of the tickets have been for speeds of less than 55 kmh, so it would appear those who say they are driving one or two kilometres over the limit are in fact not realising they are over the reduced threshold.’’
Martin said the Whitford Brown Ave site was chosen after expert analysis of the road, which Police have confirmed that when a vehicle is ticketed by a speed camera, its warrant of fitness and registration are checked, too. A police spokesman said there was a grace period of a month when the warning was issued. The issue was raised on the
Facebook page, with some readers noting the practice was common overseas. showed 28 crashes in the past decade, including two fatal and six serious.
‘‘There is a built-up residential area and a school nearby, reinforcing the need to moderate traffic speeds. The simplest way to avoid a fine is to drive to the posted limit.’’
Martin noted that road speeds in Porirua were set by the city council and revenue gathered from infringements went to the Government, not police.
Fined: Josie Campbell and the Whitford Brown Ave speed camera.