Police say safety first, not cash

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 21/12/2013
timaru speddo alistair day
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ

Accuracy: Central City Motors mechanic Alistair Day said most speedometers are not 100 percent accurate.

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Timaru police are about to roll out speed cameras seven days a week and say the decision has nothing to do with revenue collecting.

The change comes just after the summer speeding tolerance was lowered to no more than four kilometres above the speed limit.

Three staff from Christchurch were interviewing candidates at the Timaru police station on Thursday as a second person is being recruited to operate a speed camera from a van.

Senior Sergeant Mark Offen said two staff will now be rostered seven days between 6am and 10pm in South Canterbury.

"They will offer it seven days; it usually operates five out of seven days."

He said the red van usually seen parked on King St, Evans St, Hassall St, Morgans Rd and Craigie Ave has been replaced with a white model.

The white van would be parked in the same spots and at any number of rural sites, he said.

"I'd imagine that it will run on an early/late shift with a crossover period. It would depend on the development, the risk and the roster," he said.

Mr Offen said the change was about road safety, not revenue collecting.

"The drive for the police is to bring the mean speed limit down.

"If motorists crash at a lower speed, the injuries received are usually less serious. The hospitalisation period is shorter because injuries are less serious. It's got nothing to do with revenue - we don't want speeding."

Mr Offen said people would talk about revenue collecting, but it was "not part of the strategy".

"We are looking at preventing offences and ensuring our roads are safe."

Meanwhile, questions have been raised about the accuracy of speedometers after 856 of the 7691 motorists snapped by the camera in King St on Monday were recorded exceeding the 50kmh limit.

Alistair Day, a mechanic at Central City Motors, said most speedometers were not 100 per cent accurate.

He said a GPS system would probably give a truer measure of the vehicle's speed.

"My 2004 Camry is 10kmh out at 100kmh. There will always be a grey area."

Mr Offen said a lot of factors contributed to inaccurate speedometers, including driver responsibility.

"It would come down to your vehicle; it is the driver's responsibility. It also comes down to our speed devices being calibrated and operated pursuant to correct processes and protocols.

"If someone is concerned about their speedo, they can get it certified, but it adds cost."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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