Police: Lower Speed Worked


Police say their blitz on motorists going 4k over the speed limit during the long weekend worked.

There is now word that this may become the norm for traffic enforcement beyond the weekend.

With only one death until 4pm this weekend, so far this is the lowest Queen’s Birthday road toll in more than 50 years.

There was also a reduction in the number of crashes overall and the seriousness of those crashes which reduced from 341 last year to 292 this year.

Police introduced a ‘no excuses’ policy towards all drivers breaking the speed limit this weekend and vowed to take action against those caught driving more than 4 kilometres over the posted permanent speed limit.  This was part of a wider operation which saw more police on the network, a focus on slow drivers, as well as speeding drivers and high levels of alcohol testing.
Superintendent Paula Rose says: “We are pleased but not surprised,” adding that this reflects the lower speeds and drivers just taking that extra bit of care.




  1. max says:

    Good. No more pussy footing around. Less education and more enforcement.

  2. Matt L says:

    Sadly the one person killed was a cousin of my wifes

  3. Jon C says:

    @Matt L My condolences

  4. Ian says:

    So what about those weekends with few fatalities where a lower tolerance was not being enforced? Perhaps the generally vile weather meant far fewer people were traveling. Perhaps the wet weather meant people traveled slower. To claim, at this stage anyway, that police actions resulted in fewer deaths is just plain stupid but I suppose Paula had been feeling the heat. The word that this may become the norm is simply coded talk for increased revenue gathering. The pressure will be on ordinary police officers to ticket everyone they possibly can at the expense of common sense.

  5. max says:

    Ian, you really don’t see it, huh? SPEED KILLS. It is the reason of, what, a third of all crashes - and if you realise that of the two other thirds, most could have been avoided or reduced in severity with lower speeds (even if the root cause was different), your “revenue gathering” moan makes me sick.

    If the police make enough to buy golden doorhandles for their cars, I wouldn’t care. Obey those laws, and you don’t have to pay. Speed limits are there for a reason. This country has twice the road deaths of the best-performing countries, and as long as this is the attitude, we will continue to do so.

  6. Ian says:

    Max, I agree with you, speed kills, but how many people have been killed as a result of speed 4KPH above the legal limit? Road deaths have long been divided up into convenient thirds or similar, without a shred of evidence to support them. Here in Wellington a few years back the road policing boss claimed that accident numbers in the Ngauranga gorge had dropped considerably as the result of a speed camera being installed. It was left to the public to point out the obvious, that a new interchange for Newlands had largely done away with the dangerous lane changing on a steep grade. As for my moaning about revenue gathering, well, several internal police emails making it clear about where police bosses stand on this, have found their way into the public domain. Yes other countries have fewer fatalities, I suspect that the NZ psyche, road quality, car quality etc would have a lot to do with that. I would point out that I try to stay within the legal limit and haven’t had a ticket since September 1972 so I’m not just another punter about to face the courts sniveling. I just don’t think it’s fair that “speeders” should be fined for exceeding the limit by a speed less than a brisk walk. Of course a decent PT system would see many cars off the road with subsequent reduction in accident numbers.

  7. Matt says:

    max, the claim that “speed kills” is very simplistic. For one thing, what is “speed”? Is it the limit? Is it 1km/h over the limit? 10? 50? The difference between 100km/h and 104km/h in terms of effect on vehicle handling, stopping distance, impact energy, is negligible. Even 110km/h is not dramatically more dangerous.
    Also, the police do nothing to break out crashes where speeds lower than the limit are responsible. If you’re doing 75km/h on a 50km/h corner in 100km/h zone in a hail storm and lose control, killing someone, the crash will not be recorded as due to excessive speed even though speed was everything to do with the cause.

    I realise that expecting people to think about their driving is discouraged, but you appear to have bought wholesale into the publicity without actually applying any intellectual effort into consideration of the message. The publicity hammers the posted limit, rather than what is safe in the conditions presented to the driver. Our woeful driver education does nothing to help things, either. It’s too easy to get a licence - though I do have hopes for what’s suggested with testing of applicants for restricted and full licences - and too easy to keep one. I got my full car licence at 17, class 2 at 22, and will likely never have to undergo any further testing, unless I seek another class of licence, for 56 years from when I attained the class 2. That would be considered ridiculous in many other countries.

  8. Christopher says:

    @Ian. It’s not revenue gathering, it’s called a “Voluntary Tax Payment” or VTP for short.

    I understand that you feel the need to pay more tax and finding involuntary ways to do so limited, you welcome the opportunity to do so by speeding, a VTP method.

    Thanks mate. Appreciated.

  9. max says:

    “max, the claim that “speed kills” is very simplistic”

    No it is not simplistic. It is very simple. One of the most well-known statistics in accident research is the correlation between speed and chance of death.

    For example, in the worst case, the difference of hitting a pedestrian at 40 km/h and at 45 km/h means that his chance of dying increases from about 32% to about 52%. Meaning just because of 5km/h more, the mortality rate almost doubled.


    And if you believe that for some strange reason this relationship doesn’t translate into similar relationships for crashes involving cars only, please resit your physics and your drivers license exams.

    Speed kills. No excuses.


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