Not Familia With Speed Limits


“I was late for work!”

That’s the excuse a 19-year-old driving a 1994 model Familia gave police officers when they finally caught up with him on a rural Waikato highway.

The police aren’t impressed, but amazed he got up to the speeds he did.

Two staff were travelling north at 96k towards Hamilton from Ohaupo on SH3 about 6.14am.

The initial radar reading of the oncoming Mazda Familia was 167km/h but it didn’t stop there, the device locked on the southbound car at a speed of 169km/h.

Says District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Leo Tooman: “That’s a speed more suited to the nearby Hamilton airport runway and not a dark rural highway.”

When stopped the 19-year-old man told the officers he was in a hurry because he was late for work.

“At that speed, he’s doing about 150yds per second passing countless farm driveways and paddocks, if someone was to come out of a driveway there wouldn’t be a chance to say good night nurse, it would be all over.

“Frankly I’m surprised a 1994 model Familia is capable of that speed and why someone would believe that on a restricted licence he would have sufficient driving experience to control a vehicle at that speed on a race track let alone a public road.”

The driver had his licence suspended for 28 days and is due to appear in the Hamilton District Court on 12 August on a charge of operating a vehicle at a dangerous speed.




  1. George D says:

    I did 157 in a 850cc Daihatsu Mira when I was 18. Of course, it could only beat 150 downhill…

  2. Nick R says:

    I wonder why the cop was surprised with that speed? Just about any modern hatchback or sedan can do 180+ km/h if you push them.

  3. Chris says:

    Since when is 1994 modern?

  4. karl says:

    It was modern from about 1994 to 1996.

  5. Nick R says:

    I’d consider modern anything after the late 80s when most cars started having things like fuel injection, overhead cams and the like.

  6. George D says:

    Just about any modern hatchback or sedan can do 180+ km/h if you push them.
    There’s a good case for putting speed limiters on all registered vehicles…

  7. james says:

    Maybee it’s time for Leo Tooman to go back to school himself.

    Most 1994 1600cc cars can achieve 170km/h.

    Police vehicles regularly achieve this speed when chasing cars that were clocked at only 110-120km/h.
    A 200 meter gap stop, 40m , turn around, re qccelerate and close down 400m in 1 minute would require 184km/h.

    Yards are old imperial measurements. But when travelling at 169km/h you would be covering 47 meters per second


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