Police U-turn on speeding tolerance

01:11, Feb 09 2012

Police have today done a U-turn on their announcement that they were "seriously considering" a permanent crackdown on speeding drivers by slashing the 10kmh tolerance they allow for.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Operations Andy McGregor this afternoon said police were not considering a "permanent reduced tolerance".

The announcement comes after Acting Superintendent Rob Morgan yesterday told The Dominion Post that a permanent option was on the cards.

"I would expect that in the long term we will be discussing whether we bring it in permanently or not.

"At the end of February we will consider the outcomes, and if the analysis supports it, we will consider further long periods or even permanently lowering the tolerance."

The 4kmh speed tolerance was introduced at Queen's Birthday Weekend in 2010 and has been used for all holiday weekends since.

Police yesterday launched a Safer February campaign, reintroducing the 4kmh limit across all speed limits for the rest of the month.

Transport Ministry figures for 2009 show speeding was a contributing factor in 100 fatal crashes, 361 serious injury crashes and 1274 minor injury crashes.

A police spokeswoman said crashes during holiday periods since the change was introduced had fallen by 46 per cent.

McGregor said there had been a reduction in the holiday road toll since the reduced tolerance was introduced, but there was still a long way to go before police could be sure of any long-term results.

"Making the roads safer needs a comprehensive and concerted approach with everyone working together. Safer drivers on safer roads in safer vehicles all of the time and we are working with our road safety partners to achieve this.

"We know that if we can keep speeds down, we can keep crashes down and that is what we are looking for.

"If we can reduce speeds on the roads, we can reduce the number of crashes and the severity of any that may occur."


The Dominion Post