Mo­tor­way 80km speed zone nets $22k

Western Leader - - EDUCATION - CAL­LUM MCGIL­LIVRAY

Flouters of an Auck­land mo­tor­way’s con­tentious speed limit have clocked up nearly $22,000 in fines.

Of­fi­cial police in­for­ma­tion re­vealed a stretch of the North­west­ern Mo­tor­way (SH16) snagged more than one speed­ster a day above 80kmh, in six months.

The NZ Trans­port Agency (NZTA) an­nounced in September the max­i­mum 80kmh limit on mo­tor­ways around the Water­view Tun­nel would be raised to 100kmh.

Af­ter four years of $1.4 bil­lion road­works, a de­ci­sion in April to make the tem­po­rary SH16 80kmh limit near the tun­nel per­ma­nent caused a pub­lic back­lash.

Auck­land’s Bradley Scales cel­e­brated NZTA’s de­ci­sion in September to back­track on the 80kmh limit around the tun­nel, af­ter he pe­ti­tioned for it for six months. He wasn’t sur­prised with the 228 is­sued tick­ets be­cause the road was good enough to han­dle traf­fic.

‘‘If the road is wide, the traf­fic will nat­u­rally flow faster. The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple flout the law due to the mind-numb­ingly slow speed.’’

Scales said that when, or if, the 100kmh limit was in­tro­duced the num­ber of speed­sters would de­crease by at least 75 per cent.

To the end of September, police speed cam­eras pinged 228 mo­torists above 80kmh be­tween Rose­bank Rd and the New­ton Rd off-ramp. This equated to $21,650 in fines.

But data ex­cluded the to­tal of­fi­cer-is­sued fines and whether

‘‘The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple flout the law due to the mind­numb­ingly slow speed.’’

Bradley Scales

fines were paid or waived.

It was not yet known when vari­able speed limit signs on the North­west­ern Mo­tor­way and State High­way 20 would be in­creased to al­low for 100kmh.

It was re­vealed in Oc­to­ber speed­sters in the Water­view Tun­nel snagged the govern­ment nearly $1 mil­lion in six weeks.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Steve Gre­ally said of­fi­cer-is­sued ticket data wasn’t avail­able ‘‘with­out sub­stan­tial col­la­tion or re­search’’.

It would in­volve re­view­ing each in­di­vid­ual no­tice and police were not con­fi­dent in match­ing a ticket with an ex­act location, the na­tional man­ager road polic­ing said. The value of fines ex­cluded mo­torists caught more than 50kmh above the speed be­cause they were court-im­posed.

There were 1276 tick­ets is­sued on all Auck­land mo­tor­ways with a speed limit of 80kmh dur­ing the same pe­riod.

JILL ROBB/STUFF

The North Rd 80kmh speed zone has been ex­tended nearly three kilo­me­tres to Makarewa

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