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$500k from speeders

PHOTO/NZME

7340 speeding tickets issued across region last year

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
[email protected]

If you were pinged with a speeding fine last year, there’s a good chance it happened while driving along Masterton’s Ngaumutawa Rd.

A whopping 1203 speeding tickets totalling revenue of $64,710 were issued from mobile camera units parked in the vicinity of Solway Primary School, making the site the biggest revenue collector in Wairarapa in 2017, according to police data released under the Official Information Act.

Throughout Wairarapa last year, $524,980 of fines were issued, a sum split across 7340 tickets.

Of these, 5359 were issued by mobile speed cameras and 1981 were issued by police officers, with fines totalling $285,220 and $239,760 respectively.

Martinborough claimed the lowest number of speeding tickets last year, with just 86 dished out, while Masterton speeders racked up almost 5000 tickets.

Masterton roads also took out the top three busiest spots for the region’s speed cameras.

Hotspot number two behind Ngaumutawa Rd was on Te Ore Ore Rd, near Lakeview School, with 502 tickets, while Renall St, in the vicinity of Wairarapa College, came in at number three, with 455 tickets.

The revenue from speed camera fines goes to the Crown to be used for road infrastructure and road safety initiatives.

Wairarapa Area Commander Detective Inspector Scott Miller said Martinborough had fewer speeding fines because it was not on the main route.

Revans St, Featherston. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Road policing staff and resources in Wairarapa were allocated to “areas of high traffic and peak flow”, he said.

“We display our staff where the demand is.”

More often than not, this would be on a main road or state highway.

There are no fixed speed cameras in Wairarapa, but Miller said this didn’t mean people were safe from fines.

“There’s a big emphasis on mobile units. They could be anywhere.

“You are never safe when you’re speeding.”

He said police often targeted speeding drivers near schools.

Drivers needed to slow down to 40km/h when passing through a school zone and drive 20km/h when travelling past a school bus.

Wairarapa Road Safety Council manager Bruce Pauling said serious crashes on rural roads were often due to speed, an issue which continued to be of high concern.

“Our district has the highest road safety risk in the greater Wellington region, which is why there are regular speed camera deployments in our region.”

Mr Pauling said it was of concern that drivers were speeding near schools, which put children’s lives at risk.

“A pedestrian hit at 30km/h has a 90 per cent chance of surviving, but hit at 50km/h only a 30 per cent chance. “The risks for the elderly and children are higher again.”

He said lowering your speed made a huge difference if you had to brake in a hurry.

“Even a small amount of speed reduction translates into fewer injuries and huge savings on social costs from these crashes.”

Mr Pauling reminded people that as well as the safety risks, speeding could lead to a loss of licence, which could affect employment and ability to get insurance.

“Winter means high crash risks due to gloomy conditions and wet or icy road surfaces, so remember stopping distances will increase, requiring drivers to slow down and increase following distances.”

Top 10 speed camera spots
1 $64,710: Ngaumutawa Rd, in the vicinity of Solway Primary School, Masterton
2 $24,660: Revans St, between Daniels and Donald Sts, Featherston
3 $23,760: Main St, between Hospital Rd and North St, Greytown
4 $19,450: Te Ore Ore Rd, in the vicinity of Lakeview School, Masterton
5 $17,220: Renall St, in the vicinity of Wairarapa College, Masterton
6 $13,200: Fitzherbert St, between Bethune and Waite Sts, Featherston
7 $9240: High St, in the vicinity of Hadlow Preparatory School, Masterton
8 $8960: SH53/Revans St, in the vicinity of Featherston School, Featherston
9 $8580: SH2, between Boundary Road and Number One Line, Featherston
10 $8460: Te Ore Ore Rd, between Opaki Road and Montgomery Cres, Masterton

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