Most fruit­ful speed cam­era nets $2.4m a year

Waikato Times - - News - TOM HUNT

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.

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