$240,000 worth of speeding tickets issued on Christchurch's Harewood Rd
Christchurch's top cash-grabbing speed camera spot nabbed one in 10 drivers last year, raking in nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the Government.
During the 2016-17 financial year, mobile speed cameras on Harewood Rd near Nunweek Park in Harewood pumped $240,820 into the Government's coffers, with 3031 tickets issued.
Police have released details from the country's top 20 speed cameras in terms of tickets issued and money generated during the last financial year.
Harewood Rd was 19th on the list, but was by far the most likely spot in the country for drivers to get pinged. Eleven in every 100 received a speeding ticket when the mobile camera was there.
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Nationwide, the mobile speed cameras issued 573,971 tickets worth more than $38 million.
Canterbury's acting road policing manager Inspector Phil Dean said speed camera sites were based on risk, with Harewood Rd one of the city's main target spots.
The road is a thoroughfare, including to Christchurch Airport.
The speed limit changed from 70 kilometres an hour to 50kmh where police parked the mobile speed camera, near Nunweek Park.
"It is an area where the risk does exist … there's a sports park on one side and houses on the other," Dean said.
"It's a concern to us that people aren't slowing down at the required speed when they enter from one zone into the other."
Dean said it was worrying that, of the top 20 sites, Harewood Rd had the lowest number of vehicles driving past a speed camera, but had the highest rate of infringements.
"The message is the same anywhere on the road – be aware of the speed that you're driving and the speed zone you're in. If you don't know the speed limit then slow down."
The Greens Parkview Gardens fruit and vegetables store is on Harewood Rd. Manager Brian Ronan was unsurprised by the police figures.
"Just about everyone does speed down there."
He said the stretch of road where the speed reduced to 50kmh caught out many motorists. His customers often found it hard to get onto the road when leaving his store.
"A lot of our customers are in the older age bracket – they are hesitant and often they have difficulty judging the speed whether someone is going 50kmh or is still going 70kmh – it's not easy."
Reducing the speed limit along the entire road to 50kmh would help, he said.
Harewood ward councillor Aaron Keown, who campaigned on the promise of traffic lights to make the intersection of Harewood, Breens and Gardiners roads safer, was surprised the road took out the top city spot.
He stood by his comments earlier this year that the road needed "a decent set of traffic lights". Reducing the speed was an option.
"Obviously the design of the area lends itself to speeding.
"It's not that there's an excess of boy racers. It's not the people, it's the design of the road."
Wellington's Ngauranga Gorge fixed camera swept to convincing wins both in terms of tickets issued and money generated with 27,232 tickets issued to a total value of $2,387,700.
Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson said he favoured speed indicator cameras.
He said ticketing speed cameras only made police look like revenue-gatherers.
"Police are issuing millions of tickets and the road toll has sky-rocketed – quite obviously, something is wrong here."
Road policing national operations manager Peter McKennie rejected revenue-gathering claims, saying police simply wanted to make sure people got safely to their destination. Most drivers understood this, he said.
The South Island's lower placings in the rankings could likely be because it was still to get second-generation fixed cameras. Mobile cameras generated fewer tickets in particular spots.
BUSIEST SPEED CAMERAS, 2016-17
1. Ngauranga Gorge, SH1, Wellington: 27,232 tickets worth $2,387,700
2. Great South Rd, Otahuhu, Auckland: 24,135 tickets issued worth $2,019,410
3. West Coast Rd, Henderson, Auckland: 19,245 tickets issued worth $1,291,110
4. Great North Rd, Kelston, Auckland: 18,575 tickets issued worth $1,239,120.
5. Whitford Brown Ave, Porirua: 17,974 tickets issued worth $1,455,300.
6. Ngapipi Rd, Orakei, Auckland: 9763 tickets issued worth $694,220.
7. Wairau Rd, Wairau Valley, Auckland: 9488 tickets issued worth $543,100.
8. Murphys Rd, Flat Bush, Auckland: 7376 tickets issued worth $603,040.
9. Mill Rd, Totara Park, Auckland: 6485 tickets issued worth $490,650.
10. Wainui Rd, Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt: 6051 tickets issued worth $394,440.
11. SH2, Horokiwi, Wellington: 5811 tickets issued worth $421,840.
12. SH1, Thorndon, Wellington: 5651 tickets issued worth $376,520.
13. Forrest Hill Rd, Forrest Hill, Auckland: 4698 tickets issued worth $244,630.
14. SH1, Meremere, Waikato: 4569 tickets issued worth $260,640.
15. SH1, Ohingaiti, Rangitikei: 4086 tickets issued worth $267,270.
16. Greta North Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland: 3679 tickets issued worth $340,240.
17. SH1, Horotiu, Waikato: 3453 tickets issued worth $286,720.
18. SH6, Wakefield, Tasman: 3349 tickets issued worth $190,600.
19. Harewood Rd, Christchurch: 3031 tickets issued worth $240,820.
20. Wainuiomata Rd, Lower Hutt, Wellington: 2881 tickets issued worth $223,460.