Radar-detector ban considered

NABBED: Constable Nicola Laurenson tickets a driver for driving at 64kmh in Linwood Ave in a 50kmh zone yesterday.
NABBED: Constable Nicola Laurenson tickets a driver for driving at 64kmh in Linwood Ave in a 50kmh zone yesterday.

A radar-detector ban will be considered as part of a Government road-safety strategy review this year.

A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Steven Joyce said no legislation had been drafted outlawing radar detectors, but it would be considered under the review.

Last year, then Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven unveiled a package of road-safety measures targeting young drivers and those who sped. These included banning radar detectors and jammers.

National's then transport spokesman, Maurice Williamson, opposed the move, saying "people use them to moderate their speed".

"I'm not sure that a Big Brother attitude is a good thing."

Canterbury road policing manager Inspector Derek Erasmus said radar detectors did not prevent motorists from getting caught.

"I issued a speeding ticket to a person last Thursday who was in a rental car and the person had come from out of town and brought their radar detector with them. They don't necessarily make any difference other than to show a proclivity on behalf of the driver to speed."

Police officers ticketing people for speeding regularly saw radar detectors, he said.

"Some people think it will enable them to speed and endanger the public without getting caught, but that's not necessarily the case."

Police would be targeting speeding motorists over the next six months, particularly around schools, Erasmus said.

In Canterbury, fatalities related to speeding or travelling too fast for the conditions rose to 23 in 2008 compared with 13 the previous year.

For the past five years there had been an average 200 speed-related injury crashes per year, Erasmus said.

Superintendent Dave Cliff, the Canterbury district commander, said police would adopt a "no-tolerance approach" to speeding motorists.

"We are very clear on what we want to achieve. The crash-impact speed decides the severity of injury to vehicle occupants, pedestrians or cyclists. The lower the impact speed, the less likely the injury will be severe or fatal."

Canterbury has the highest average speeds on urban and rural roads in New Zealand, with 42 per cent of drivers exceeding the 100 kmh open-road limit and 73 per cent exceeding 50 kmh.


The Press