Motorway 80km speed zone nets $22k
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.’’
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.
The North Rd 80kmh speed zone has been extended nearly three kilometres to Makarewa