100 tickets given in speeding sting

YVETTE BATTEN - NORTH TARANAKI MIDWEEK
Last updated 05:00 07/11/2012
ntm-police
Yvette Batten/Fairfax NZ

WALKERS GET FLICKED BY AUTHORITY: Police Sergeant George White gives out a reflector band to Carl Sargent, of New Plymouth, who was walking along the Coastal Walkway. These bands, which can be seen from up to 400 metres away, are being handed out by Police free to walkers and runners around the region. They have 200 bands, which snap into place around a person's arm, to give away courtesy of Roadsafe Taranaki. "When we see somebody walking around or running in the evening or morning we just stop them and flick them," said Mr White. So far the police have given away more than 100. In a pair the bands usually cost about $15 for a set of two.

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New Plymouth Police are taking a hard line towards drivers speeding in the laned area between Centre City and the Coastal Walkway.

After receiving several complaints from people the police began an operation two weeks ago to encourage people to slow down.

Within three stings, lasting an hour or two long, they gave out almost 100 tickets mainly to people driving towards Fitzroy.

The highest speed captured was 79 kilometres per hour, landing the driver with a $230 fine and 30 demerit points.

"In the city you just can't travel that fast safely," Sergeant George White said. "We'd prefer to give not tickets out at all. Our main concern is keeping people safe.

"If people are doing something that's really silly like that then they can expect to get a ticket."

Typically there will be one police staff member with a laser watching the road and up to four other staff further up the road issuing tickets.

"It's so bad that frequently we're letting speeders go because we don't have the staff to stop them. We can have two, three, four cars stopped . . . issuing tickets on the side of the road and more cars going past."

Mr White said the most common excuse given from drivers when tickets were issued was that they weren't concentrating.

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