Speeding drivers are being pinged more often in Hamilton with a 23 per cent increase in fines being dished out in the past financial year.
The city's motorists forked out nearly $1.7 million in fines - a year-on-year increase of more than $300,000.
But police say the figures, released to the Waikato Times under the Official Information Act, don't reflect a crackdown on city drivers.
Waikato road policing manager Inspector Marcus Lynam said the district's five van-mounted speed cameras, a handful of fixed cameras and patrol car allocations between rural and urban areas hadn't changed for "years".
Yet police received a barrage of criticism in June after a van-mounted camera was stationed on Hamilton's Dinsdale Rd in a lower 40kmh zone. It caught 633 motorists travelling over 50kmh in a six-hour period - a rate close to one every 30 seconds.
Drivers likened the tactic to entrapment.
But Mr Lynam said there are no targets or sweeteners to encourage road police to issue tickets. Nor is it revenue collection - it's about reducing the road toll, he said.
"The targeting we do is based on risk from our intelligence unit to find areas of high risk and that's where, on a weekly and daily basis, we task units to concentrate on reducing those risks by taking enforcement action."
The national strategy is based on high visibility "rather than hiding in the bushes".
Still, many motorists paid a price for exceeding the speed limit with Kiwi drivers handing $35m in fines to the Crown in the past financial year. But on the whole, people on Waikato roads are running foul of road police less often.
In the year to June 30, 2013, the region's drivers racked up $3,794,720 in infringement notices - a reduction of nearly $1m on the 2011/2012 fiscal year and the fourth highest out the country's 12 police districts.
The hottest spot in the country was on Muriwai Rd at Kumeu, between State Highway 16 and School Rd, where 7916 infringements were issued.
In monetary terms, the national total of $35,458,430 is the lowest of the past four years after it peaked at $50,023,340 in 2010/2011. All fines paid go into the Government's "Consolidated Fund".
Acting national manager of road policing, Peter McKennie said the jump in infringements was due to police enacting the lower speed tolerance of 4kmh on drivers.
Mr Lynam wasn't aware of the region's infringement totals and made no apologies.
"If people saw the harm that a serious motor vehicle crash has on a family, the death and trauma that hospitals and our staff deal with, they'd be in total support of speed enforcement action - speed is a major cause of serious road injury."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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