Auckland's speed cameras are flashing furiously with Waitemata revealed as the uncontested capital of tickets.
Motorists in the Waitemata police district were issued with nearly $113 million in fines since 1999, nearly double that of any other police district, according to figures released under the Official Information Act.
The zone, which includes the North Shore, West Auckland and Auckland's motorways, has six fixed camera sites and six mobile cameras.
In 2010 and 2011 the Waitemata cameras had bumper years when more than $25m in fines were issued.
However, the Waitemata discrepancy is easily explained - all speed fines issued on Auckland motorways are processed through the district.
Waitemata road policing manager Superintendent John Kelly said no other police district in New Zealand presided over as many motorways.
''Police operate mobile speed cameras around the clock on Auckland's numerous motorways which extend from Ramarama to Johnson Hill and boundaries within the Auckland metropolitan region,'' he said.
Auckland city police district came in second with a total of $63.37m and record annual fines of just over $7m in 2001.
The number of speed cameras on New Zealand roads could double with $10m held in reserve for more in the next three years.
The New Zealand Transport Agency has the money set aside but was waiting on a business case from police, a spokesman said.
At present 55 speed cameras operate nationally and a proposal for more is part of the road policing plan.
But police are yet to decide whether more would be installed and how many.
"The way forward for reducing road trauma is investing in technology," a police spokesman said. "But this is dependent on a cost benefit analysis showing clear benefit."
The spokesman said their business case is expected to be given to NZTA later this year.
Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges welcomed plans to buy more cameras, saying New Zealand was on the light side when compared to Australia.
Victoria and New South Wales had 4.8 and 2.5 speed cameras per 100,000 people, while New Zealand had only 1.3, he said.
''All international evidence shows that speed cameras are highly effective in slowing vehicles down and saving lives.''
Bridges said cameras could include a mix of fixed, mobile, and point to point cameras. He didn't have a good sense of the cost, but informal advice showed 25 speed cameras could be bought for $4m, he said.
''I think it would be dangerous to say what that means in terms of $10m.''
''The technology is always changing and getting better, so it's just what police decide they want and what numbers,'' he said.
AA motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said the AA had worked with police earlier this year on where the cameras could be placed.
''The cameras are put in areas where there has been a history of speed-related crashes and injuries, or where we know that the speeds are well above what is safe.
"We're supportive of fixed cameras being placed in areas where we know there is a risk,'' he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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