Mystery pruner exposes speed camera van
A speed camera van has got a bit more exposure after a mystery pruner hacked off branches of a tree ahead of where it parked.
Clearly the pruner thought the van should be more visible to oncoming drivers likely to get pinged in the 80kmh zone on Atawhai Drive, just before Marybank.
Not to be outdone, the speed camera van has now moved to park just beyond another clump of trees.
Tasman District road policing manager Inspector Jenni Richardson said: "We don't hide the speed camera."
However, she could not say why it had moved. "I don't have any issue with people wanting to moan about speed camera revenue gathering. If you don't want to get a ticket don't speed."
The chances of getting a ticket look set to increase.
The number of speed cameras could double on New Zealand roads, with $10 million held in reserve for the delivery of more in the next three years.
The New Zealand Transport Agency had the money set aside, but was waiting on a business case from police, a spokesman said.
Ms Richardson said she hoped to get another speed camera van for the district and was waiting to hear.
One camera van covers Nelson, Marlborough and Kaikoura, manned by two operators covering different shifts. Ms Richardson said having two vans would mean one could cover Nelson and the other Marlborough.
Last year nationally 629,000 speed camera tickets were issued, and fines totalled $49m.
At present 55 speed cameras operated around the country, and a proposal for an increase was part of the road policing plan.
However, police had yet to decide whether more would be installed and how many.
"The Safer Journeys strategy identified that the way forward for reducing road trauma is investing in technology, [including speed cameras]," a police spokesman said.
"But this is dependent on a cost benefit analysis showing clear benefit."
Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges welcomed plans to increase the number of cameras, saying New Zealand was on the light side compared with Australia.
Victoria and New South Wales had 4.8 and 2.5 speed cameras per 100,000 people respectively, 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."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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