A Missed Try


The police have tried to explain why what they call “a prominent New Zealander was let off a speeding fine because of who he is.”

The rather bizarre explanation is that it also happened to four other motorists  on Tamaki Drive as well on that Friday night before the long weekend - because the only police officer on duty ” is not yet fully certified to issue legal offence notices using radar speed detection equipment.. so the police officer could not issue a legally valid infringement notice after having used speed detection equipment.”

The statement says  the officer concerned “is being spoken to about police policy around the use of speed detection.”

TV3 claimed the motorist concerned was Graham Henry.

The police statement says all five motorists were warned about speeding and had their vehicles checked for current warrant and registration status.

Auckland City District Commander, Superintendent George Fraser, says that on that evening, a lone police officer - who is not yet fully certified to issue legal offence notices using radar speed detection equipment - stopped five motorists on Tamaki Drive between 6pm and 9.30pm.

“All five motorists were warned about speeding and had their vehicles checked for current warrant and registration status.

“None were issued with speeding tickets due to the fact that the Police Officer could not issue a legally valid infringement notice after having used speed detection equipment.”

In all, the officer stopped nine motorists that evening who were exceeding the speed limit in various city locations over the course of his shift. Not all Police Officers are certified to operate radar speed detection equipment.

The waterfront is a favourite spot for speeding ticket revenue


So why was there only one police officer and why was he checking speeding but couldn’t issue tickets?

Is it incompetence, bad procedure or something murky?

The statement boasts that in the Auckland City Police District, 255 speeding tickets were issued over the weekend.




  1. Paul from Sydney says:

    Something is a bit off, I can smell it from here

  2. Matt says:

    It’s entirely possible the officer in question is still a recruit. During training they get status as “authorised officers” for the Land Transport Act to enforce traffic legislation while doing “in the field” rotations, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been certified in the use of radar speed measuring equipment.

    It’s silly that it happened, but it’s entirely plausible. I wouldn’t be reading too much into this, to be honest. The officer (note they say officer, not constable) in question has probably been given a real flea in his ear about using equipment when anything they learn from it is inadmissible in court.

    As for only one officer, plenty of cops are riding one-up. Particularly if they’re doing traffic duties rather than general duties. Nothing in the least bit unusual or suspicious in that.

  3. Chris says:

    If I a was a cop I’d let him off too for a signed All Blacks shirt.

  4. come get some says:

    dont see what the problem is, he caught them speeding, stopped them, and issued a warning as that’s all he can do?

  5. Matt says:

    come get some, the problem is that he was using equipment without proper training. Makes the cops look bad, especially when one of the people he inadmissibly pulled over for going at a stupid speed was the coach of the All Blacks.
    The problem I have is not that he was out there without training on using the radar, but that he used it without training. What would he have done if someone had gone past at 91km/h? That’s meant to be on-the-spot licence suspension and a court date for a charge of dangerous driving.

  6. Joshua says:

    Matt - So how are you supposed to become competent if unable to use it? It’s fair, and I see no problem at all. Over the weekend police resoruces would have been stretched, simply seeing cars pulled over by a police vehicle will help lowered others speed.

    He would of had basic training to be able to use the speed rader, however not completed it yet, part of completing your training is using it in the field.

  7. Matt says:

    Joshua, until you’re certified competent, using it without supervision and in the field is begging for trouble. The Police have no shortage of facilities where training on use of radar can take place, starting with the skid pan and roads at Porirua itself and moving on to the track where they do pursuit training.

    If he really wanted to check speeds, police car speedos are calibrated accurately to ensure they’re admissible. As I asked, what would he have done if he’d caught someone going at a speed where the law mandates roadside licence suspension and a charge of dangerous driving? “You’re lucky, sir, I can’t actually do anything to get your unsafe backside off the road. But you be sure to slow down now, and have a safe night”?

  8. Chris says:

    What a pathetic news topic.

    I hate how the media jumps at news like this. Warnings for fast driving occur every day. Just because hes a celebrity they have to make a big deal about it. I even heard them say he wont comment on it. Why should he? Just let him get on with the game against the Wallabies.

  9. DanC says:

    I’ve been stopped before and been let off with a warning.

  10. Matt says:

    Chris, given that it initially looked like a case of getting favourable treatment because of who he is, it’s a perfectly legitimate news story. Or do you think people routinely get excused from being ticketed at 62% over the speed limit at a time when the Police have announced that they’ll be showing very little tolerance for exceeding the posted limit?

    Dan, yes, I think most people have. I certainly have. But were you doing > 80 in a 50 zone on a holiday weekend with the cops saying loudly that they’ll be showing minimal tolerance?

  11. Chris says:

    If I went 31km/h over the speed limt no one would care. Why should we make a big deal about him then?
    Of course he should be exempted, hes the All Blacks coach.

  12. Matt says:

    Yeah, Chris, I think you’ll find a lot of people want everyone to be treated equally. Being the coach of the ABs doesn’t make you a safe driver (in fact, I’d argue he’s proved he’s not a safe driver after doing 81 in a 50 zone), doesn’t exempt you from laws of physics, and doesn’t magically ensure that you won’t suddenly encounter someone pulling out in front of you, or a child running onto the road, etc etc.

    I don’t give a damn who you are, if the law doesn’t give you a defence (like being on an emergency call for an emergency service) you shouldn’t get special treatment. When I was responding to emergency calls in my own car, I had to obey the law. If I got busted for breaking it, I would’ve been left to hang. Even though technically I did have a defence in law, I still would’ve been hung out to dry by my unit, and that technical defence put me one up on Henry.
    Being the coach of the ABs doesn’t mean shit as far as I’m concerned when it comes to application of the law. He’s not God, or even a cop, he’s just another dick with a heavy foot.


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