Water­view tun­nel: Two days, four speed­ing tick­ets

Weekend Herald - - NEWS - Bernard Ors­man

Two round trips to visit her sick fa­ther in Waikato Hospi­tal have cost Tess Coote $ 360 in speed­ing fines through the Water­view Tun­nel.

“It’s a money- mak­ing tube,” says the Kings­land hairdresser, who says she was con­scious of the 80km/ h speed limit driv­ing through the new $ 1.4 bil­lion tun­nel.

All to no avail. Coote re­ceived four speed­ing tick­ets in the mail­box for driv­ing through the tun­nel both ways on Septem­ber 2 and Septem­ber 3. She was clocked at speeds of be­tween 92km/ h and 98km/ h.

Three of the fines are for $ 80 and one for $ 120 for al­legedly driv­ing at 98km/ h.

Coote i s baf­fled: “There I was be­ing care­ful. It is quite hard slow­ing from 100km/ h to 80km/ h. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t do­ing 98km/ h.” She is go­ing to ask to see pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence from the speed cam­eras be­fore pay­ing the fines. Coote sup­ports in­creas­ing the speed limit 20km/ h to 100km/ h through the tun­nel, say­ing it would im­prove traf­fic flows and avoid mo­torists hav­ing to slow down and watch their speed.

Hamil­ton man Bradley Scales started a pe­ti­tion earlier this year to in­crease the speed limit around the tun­nel to 100km/ h. It gained nearly 14,000 sig­na­tures.

“Why, when you have a brand new, four- lane mo­tor­way, would you have to make the speed limit 80km/ h?” he said.

The NZ Trans­port Agency, which has in­sisted the speed limit in­side the tun­nel is there for safety rea­sons, this week an­nounced the speed limit around the tun­nel would be go­ing up to 100km/ h again. No date has been set for the in­creased speed.

The po­lice are due to re­lease fig­ures shortly on how many speed­ing tick­ets have been is­sued since the tun­nel opened on July 2.

Coote said the new tun­nel was awe­some, “but I prob­a­bly won’t choose to take it now. I will prob­a­bly go the long way”.

Pic­ture / Chris Loufte

Tess Coote is think­ing of go­ing the long way after four speed­ing fines in the Water­view tun­nel.

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