Speed cameras also catch police

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 08:06 26/12/2012

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Three Waikato police officers have been prosecuted for careless driving while on duty in the past 12 months.

Information obtained by The Waikato Times under the Official Information Act shows officers were involved in three crashes between October 2011 and October 2012 on State Highway 3, near Ohaupo; State Highway 1 at Cambridge; and at the intersection of Mill and Willoughby streets, Hamilton.

National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths said that, when it came to careless driving, members of the police were treated the same as any driver and were subject to any "court-directed sanctions".

"Police are expected to comply with all driving laws at all times, there is no special scrutiny applied to members of police," he said.

Over the same period, there were 161 speed camera activations against Waikato police vehicles.

The information, supplied by Sergeant Neil Higgs from Waikato police professional standards, showed that, in 115 activations, no further was action taken as the emergency lights on the police vehicles were clearly visible in the photographs.

In 24 incidents, the infringement fines were paid by the driver, while 22 incidents were waived as the drivers were able to prove that they were attending an emergency.

Mr Higgs said that, while information on where the location of each incident took place was unavailable, he confirmed that the majority of activations were at the static camera site in Te Rapa Rd.

Mr Griffiths said the professional police driver programme allowed for regular driving assessments of police members.

He also confirmed that, when it came to using cellphones in vehicles, police had an exemption under legislation.

"But it is only to be used if operationally imperative," Mr Griffiths said.

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- Waikato Times

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