Most fruitful speed camera nets $2.4m a year
In the battle for speed camera supremacy, Wellington’s Ngauranga Gorge camera reigns supreme when it comes to ticketing drivers, earning the Government almost $2.4 million.
A previous top-performer, the camera on Whitford Brown Ave in Porirua, slid down the rankings to fifth during a year when fixed and mobile speed cameras issued 573,971 tickets nationwide and pumped more than $38m into the Government’s coffers.
Police have released details of the country’s top 20 speed cameras – both in terms of tickets issued and money generated during the financial year to July.
On both counts the Ngauranga Gorge’s fixed camera, which keeps watch over State Highway 1 in and out of Wellington, swept to a convincing win with a tally of 27,232 tickets issued totalling $2,387,700.
Cameras across the Wellington region were well represented in the top 20, occupying six spots.
One of those, in Wainuiomata, has a reputation for being, arguably, the most hated speed camera in the country having been shot twice, beaten and sawn off.
Auckland speed cameras took nine spots, including seven of the top 10. One of those cameras, on Ngapipi Rd, came in sixth, racking up 9763 tickets worth $694,220, despite only going live in February.
Speed cameras in Waikato, Tasman and Rangitikei also made the top 20 list.
Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of
said speed cameras only served to undermine faith in police, who looked like revenue-gatherers.
‘‘If you ask the average voter the major cause of road deaths they’d probably say: illegal speeding. In fact, the reverse is true.
‘‘About 80 per cent of the road toll occurs below, not above, the speed limit,’’ he said.
‘‘. . . almost all [the rest] are caused by either yobbos, impaired drivers or outlaw motorcyclists.’’
Ticketing drivers who had drifted slightly over the speed limit had been a ‘‘dismal’’ failure.
‘‘Police are issuing millions of tickets and the road toll has skyrocketed – quite obviously, something is wrong here.’’
The number of serious crashes in the Ngauranga Gorge had reduced in recent times – that was down to the installation of a median barrier, not the speed camera, Matthew-Wilson said.
While the gorge was home to the busiest camera, the percentage of speeding drivers passing through there was proportionally low due to the high traffic volume. Only three out of every 1000 vehicles going past got ticketed.
By comparison, 11 out of every hundred vehicles that passed through the mobile speed camera site on Harewood Rd in Christchurch – the 19th most-ticketed site – got pinged.
The South Island’s low placing on the rankings was largely due to only now getting second generation fixed cameras, meaning it had been relying on mobile cameras generating fewer tickets in individual spots.