Police warn motorists to slow down this summer
Anyone exceeding the speed limit this summer can expect to be pulled over, regardless of whether there’s a 4kmh speed tolerance.
The warning comes as police move towards zero tolerance of speeding, after last summer’s successful campaign which saw fatalities drop by 22 per cent.
‘‘Anything over the limit is speeding and anyone speeding can expect to be pulled over,’’ police assistant commissioner, road policing, Dave Cliff said.
Police operated a 4kmh tolerance last summer – from December 1 to January 31 – but still issued more than 200,000 tickets for people doing between 1kmh and 10kmh over the limit.
That was more than five times the amount ticketed during the same period the previous year when there was no reduced tolerance, a police report into the Safer Summer campaign showed.
The tickets totalled more than $6 million in fines, an increase of about $5m from the previous years.
But the reduced tolerance also helped prevent crashes, with 201 fewer minor-injury crashes, 21 fewer serious-injury crashes, and 11 fewer fatal crashes.
Cliff said it was time the focus shifted away from thinking about a speed tolerance and towards driving to the conditions and the speed limit.
‘‘People often set their cruise control to the tolerance when it should be at the speed limit.’’
If an officer pulled over a car doing a few kilometres an hour over the limit, they had the discretion to either issue a ticket or give the driver a warning, he said.
Stationary speed cameras would still operate with a 4kmh tolerance over summer.
Lower drink-drive limits for drivers 20 years and over also took effect from December 1.
Secretary for Transport Martin Matthews said road fatalities had dropped by hundreds a year in the last few decades, as New Zealanders became less tolerant of drinkdriving.
‘‘ For every 100 alcohol or drug-impaired drivers or riders killed in road crashes, 54 of their passengers and 27 sober road users die with them.
‘‘These are not just statistics – these are someone’s mum, dad, sister or brother. This change will make our roads safer, save lives and prevent serious injuries.’’
Last year police spent $350,000 on marketing the Safer Summer campaign, which would this year be supported by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
ACC manager of motorist injury insurance Paul Gimblett said the campaignwould be a sound investment.
‘‘The faster you go, the worse your injuries will be.
‘‘ In 2012- 13, ACC received around 85 road injury claims a day over summer. That’s 85 families impacted, a total of 7500 people hurt on our roads and a huge cost to New Zealanders.
‘‘That’s why we’re urging all Kiwis to stick to a safe speed and drive to the conditions.’’