The Waterview tunnels were opened in July and one of the many pieces of equipment in them are a set of four speed cameras to monitor the 80km/h speed limits. Yesterday police revealed how many tickets they had issued and the amount of voluntary tax that had been collected as a result.

Nearly $1 million worth of speeding fines have been issued at Auckland’s Waterview Tunnels in a little over one month.

Police operate four speed cameras at the twin 2.4km long tunnels, one at each entrance and exit.

Figures given to Checkpoint with John Campbell under the Official Information Act show 9756 fines worth $948,220 total were issued between 21 July, when the cameras were turned on, and 31 August.

Those tickets are come from over 1.52 million vehicles passing the cameras, although it turns out they’re not always turned on. That gives a ticket rate of about 0.6%. That may not seem like much but is a quite staggering amount. It equates to about one ticket every six minutes, $23k collected a day and if these rates continued, $8.4 million in extra revenue for the government annually. That’s a nice little earner for the government but wouldn’t even cover the annual operational costs of the tunnel (approx $16m annually), let alone make a dent in the $1.4 billion cost, like some suggested yesterday. Perhaps rolling out fixed speed camera’s to all parts of the motorway and on major arterials in Auckland might quickly deliver enough money to pay for the transport funding shortfall that exists.

However, I feel that ticket volumes are unlikely to stay at these levels. After all there’s a really simple way to avoid getting a ticket, don’t speed. It’s not as if there isn’t enough warning about the speed limits. Approaching traffic is bombarded with highly visible electronic speed signs and they’re continued at fairly regular intervals throughout the tunnel. For example, heading northbound I’ve counted at least three sets of signs between the Maioro St onramp and the tunnel with a further eight within the tunnel itself. If you didn’t see the signs then you’ve got more things to worry about than a fine.

Given the level of signage that exists, I think this story also highlights an important aspect in the discussion on road safety. Essentially, speed limits and signs are useful but alone they aren’t enough. If a road feels as if it was designed like a race track then people will drive accordingly. To bring speeds down we need to improve safety we also need to make changes to the road environment to encourage slower speeds. A point also made by the AA – it’s also good to see them ruling out the “it’s all just revenue gathering” trope.

“It’s certainly not revenue gathering,” spokesperson for the Automobile Association, Barney Irvine said. “Police aren’t trying to trick anyone here, there’s plenty of signage in every approach to the tunnel.

“What this really highlights for us is for the need for speed camera sites to be reviewed every six to 12 months right around the country,” Mr Irvine said.

He said that should be done by an independent body, which would decide what an appropriate fine rate was, and then decide if “too many” tickets were being issued.

“And if too many tickets are being issued, then obviously the system isn’t working, and we’d need to see more done to bring speeds down,” Mr Irvine said.

In urban environments, changes such as narrower lanes, protected bike lanes, improved pedestrian infrastructure, different surface treatments, street trees and many other tools can all help to change the feel of streets and bring speeds down while also providing increased safety and amenity for those not in cars. What’s more many of these changes can be made fairly cheaply, especially using tactical urbanism practices.

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109 comments

  1. It should be mentioned that NZTA have announced that the roads surrounding the tunnel will go back to 100 kmh (as they should, if you can’t do 100kmh there then you can’t do it anywhere) but that was a month ago and this has still not happened.

    1. The tunnel speed limit I can vaguely understand but the rule that says no lane change sees me frequently doing 60 – 65 km/hr or even less occaisionally behind some incompetent who finds throttle adjustment too overwhelming.

      However the 80 km limit on the North Western is an absolute debacle that is suffering mass civil disobedience because few motorists come close to adhering to it. 95 to 100 plus is the norm

      West bound and after the tunnels on a straight, flat, 5 lane section with break down strips left and right, barriers and flood lit, 80mkm/hr is still the nana speed the grey suits in NZTA think is safe. Who are the idiots who make these decisions?

      When is the 100 km speed, that used to be the speed pre the revamp coming back?

      1. The same happens when you’re approaching the Harbour Bridge from the north during the afternoon rush hour. The variable speed limit is 70 but traffic flows at around 90.

        So usually you drive 90. No problem. You can drive 70 if you want, and then you become an obstacle in traffic flow, with other drivers swerving left and right around you. I don’t think that’s safer than driving 90.

        At some point the cops started enforcing the speed limit at the toll plaza. Some drivers saw the speed camera and slowed down. Others didn’t and swerved around the slow ones. Then they also spotted the camera and hit the brakes. More swerving. It was like a mosh pit in there. You quickly learn to spot that chaos and infer there’s a speed trap ahead.

        Anyone else think mosh pits on the motorway are dangerous? Speed limits are so weird over here.

        1. If you are speeding, you are breaking the law and have to pay the consequences. There is a choice, and there is also the other consequence of of one’s actions, you are now endangering other peoples lives.

          1. If you are doing 70kmh from the point when the speed limit drops you are neither endangering people or breaking the law, not sure why you say people have to make a choice.

          2. On a motorway driving significantly slower than the traffic around you is dangerous. Especially over there, since you often have to change lanes (you have to keep right if you want to go on SH1 to Manukau). Which one is easier, changing to a lane if you’re approximately the same speed as that lane, or changing to a lane which is 20 km/h faster than you?

            A mix of people randomly hitting the brakes and others swerving to get around them is also dangerous.

            NZTA should make a choice — either have a 70 km/h speed limit, or don’t. If they choose to have one, I’m sure they can come up with a way to ensure people actually stick to that limit. It appears they just can’t be bothered.

          3. ‘On a motorway driving significantly slower than the traffic around you is dangerous.’

            I think you are being a bit over dramatic. The speed limit on the Southern Motorway is mostly 100kmh, yet it’s quite common to see people doing 80kmh, doesn’t automatically turn into a mosh pit, other cars just drive past. To exit the Southern Motorway it is common to have to merge into the slower left lane, this rarely causes any problems, is this a uniquely North Shore problem you are describing?

          4. AFAIK this speed trap + chaos situation is unique to that spot right before the Harbour bridge. Or was, the speed traps disappeared again after a few weeks. My guess is that they were actually causing accidents. You got those brake lights swerving left and right, it looked a bit precarious.

            People doing stupid things to get past you if you stick to the speed limit or a bit below, that happens everywhere. People have little tolerance for that. To be more precise, driving a bit slowly by itself may not be dangerous, but those stupid things definitely make traffic around you much more dangerous.

          5. We’re not talking about a single lane highway here, there are multiple lanes available, if someone is going slower than you all you have to do is change lane and pass them, doesn’t require any dangerous actions (except it would appear on the North Shore).

          6. That whole section through there is a mess. The NZTA really need to do something to optically narrow the road to make the speed transition a bit more obvious. This could include installing a heap of trees in the Onewa Road interchange, around the Stafford Road ramps and on the eastern side of the motorway where the carriageway reaches sea level. I think it would also help to install some St Marys Bay style sound Barriers.

        2. I think you are being a bit over dramatic. The speed limit on the Southern Motorway is mostly 100kmh, yet it’s quite common to see people doing 80kmh, doesn’t automatically turn into a mosh pit, other cars just drive past.

        3. The 70 signs by the harbour bridge are not enforceable.
          “The posted and legally enforceable speed limit is 80km/h. The Transport Agency says different speeds displayed in the orange overhead gantries are advisory only – a safety warning for drivers so that they can alter their speed because of an issue on the motorway ahead – for example, a crash or congestion. These speeds are not legally enforceable.”
          Same with the no lane changing in the tunnel, its strongly recommended not to unless its safe or you need to, but they cant actually ticket or fine you for it.

      2. The good news is it isn’t illegal to change lanes – just recommended (black border not red). So feel free to change lanes as long as it is safe.

        1. While the recommendation isn’t legally binding, you can still get a ticket for unsafe lane change. What makes it unsafe at any given time, is up to the man with the hat. I’ve changed lanes in Auckland tunnels before, but only if the traffic is very very light. I wouldn’t attempt it during peak hours 😉

  2. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time

    I support speed ticketing, but I’d also love to see much more enforcement of other road rules.

    Police should have a “1 for 1” rule where the number of speed tickets they can issue is equal to the number of non-speed tickets. It’s currently 2/3rds/1/3rd so this would fix a lot of things

    1. I do have a bit of a bug bear when you get multiple ‘times’ for one ‘crime’.
      A lady in the Herald just got 4 small speeding tickets in the tunnel in the space of 2 days. If a cop had pulled her over she would have learnt from the first one. Instead she ends up with a total fine that is more than had she done some seriously dangerous speeding.

      1. I have to mostly disagree with you on this one… There’s no shortage of signage. Where there is some room for agreement, is I was under the impression that she was ticketed for going under 85 in one instance (leeway and such).

        As somebody who used to drive a 1000k a week for my job, one of the biggest issues is inattentive/distracted drivers. That’s why my colleagues and I would try to avoid visiting sites near school time and this was in an area with much less traffic than Auckland… Her experience will hopefully instill a little more caution and attentiveness, even if only temporarily.

        1. Where does that end though? What if you get 20 tickets for the same offence before you even know?
          If I steal 10 items from a shop do I get 10 times the sentence of someone who steels one?

          1. If you steal ten times you get ten times the sentence. This woman got caught speeding 4 times, ‘I speed the whole way, I should only get one ticket’ doesn’t really stand up.

          2. It does raise some interesting philosophical issues about the observation interval.

            Theoretically if we reduced the observation interval to say 1/200th shutter speed we could theoretically issue 200 tickets for every second of exceeding the speed limit.

            Would that be fair?

            In this case, speeding is a continuous crime measured at discrete intervals…

  3. On one hand limits that are at variance with common sense leads to disrespect for road rules and on the other hand multiple variations can distract drivers. The odd times I get behind the wheel I have to remember that the basic 50 limit really means everyone travelling at 59 and then it is 40 near a school and of course it is 50 not 60 during the Xmas holidays (I’ve found myself wondering if Dec 23rd is Xmas when I ought to be thinking about the cars ahead and the pedestrians and cyclists who might do something unexpected).

    I would prefer a rational limit that is enforced with no margin (say make it 60 in towns, 90 in the country and 110 where there is a central crash barrier). Then they should concentrate of educating drivers into using their judgement: so morning mist on a motorway means slow down, school bus means slow down and double check for kids, narrow suburban roads with parked vehicles, etc – just sell the idea that a driver has to use their judgement and give the police the power to prosecute drivers who use the limits as targets despite adverse conditions – given modern cameras it would be easy for police to make prosecutions stick.

    1. 60 in towns is way too fast except where other modes have separate infra and there’s no parking. Someone can post that graph of speed vs facility rates.

    2. I typically drive with my speedo showing 55kmh, which means I am doing around 50 – 52kmh, and I would say more often then not I am with the flow of traffic. I don’t think most people are doing 60kmh. It is definitely not a safe speed in a residential area.

      1. Judging by the speed detector on Glenfield road I’d say about 58 is average for a wide suburban road in North Shore – my concern is it doesn’t change much when it is wet or dark. Again in North Shore most of the main connecting roads are wide with relatively few parked vehicles (although that is noticeably getting worse). My car travels about 53 to 57 (on the flat) and I’m always finding cars catching up on me; it is rare that I’m held up by a slow vehicle ahead of me. But I am not a regular driver and most of Auckland I rarely visit so I’d be happy with an agreed limit of say 55. But it has to be a number that the majority can agree on – once you have a large minority ignoring the limit you then have danger.

        1. So what you are saying is that even on a wide main road travelling downhill, which is a known area for speeding, the average vehicle is still only doing 58?

          You are also saying that you are routinely breaking the law by driving at 53 to 57 km/h

          1. My guess is 58 but I don’t travel during the rush hour where it can be about 5. Maybe the council has accurate figures for the true average.

            Yes I do travel over 50kmh – occasionally reaching that speed on my bike (or maybe it was a car overtaking me). My speed of roughly 52 to 57 is when I borrow my daughter’s car but when I borrow the wife’s I have to watch the speedometer more carefully and therefore more dangerous being both faster and less attentive.
            .
            You are right about down hill – but I know where they are in my area and that is what the brake pedal is for.

  4. I just got back from a lot of driving in England. For much of the extensive motorway system there are gantries every few hundred metres and speed limit signs on every gantry and fixed speed cameras (or the threat of fixed speed cameras) on each gantry. The result is that everyone obeys the speed limits. This is a definite change from when I grew up there, when there was a lot of speeding. Yes, that included me.

    The speed limit signs change in response to the traffic conditions; i.e. the speed is lowered when the road is busier, when there is a lot of traffic joining ahead, etc. Unless there is a crash/incident, the traffic does seem to flow better, avoiding the stop-start thing which happens when the speed limits are not variable/reduced. My feeling is that more traffic now gets along the roads than used to be the case before variable limits and heavy enforcement were introduced. Motorway driving cheek by jowl is still a miserable way to travel for the most part.

    There are also lots of sections of the motorway which use average speed cameras to check your average speed over say 10km sections, which I preferred as you can basically obey the limit without having to keep checking your speed every time you approach a gantry and can make decisions to alter your relative position on the road and move around vehicles without worrying that you might accidentally get snapped going too fast, briefly, whilst your mind is on other things. The result is the same though: People obey the speed limit. Again, I didn’t mind because I felt it was making the travel safer and more reliable by having the variable limits and enforcing them. The cruise control in the car I hired was a godsend as most people seemed to have it and we all flowed along in unison.

    1. I like the idea of averaging speed cameras, however I also wonder what sort of allowance would be built into the system, to allow for long downhill sections and the like.

      1. Average dpeed cameras should have a 0 km/h tolerance, and a minimum length of 1 km. If you can’t stay under the speed limit on average for 1 km then you shouldn’t be driving.

        1. Yes maybe. But I noticed that there were a lot of vehicles setting their cruise control to 73mph (in the 70mph zone, i.e. the motorways when the limits weren’t varied downwards). Given human psychology it might be better to set the posted speed limit 5% lower than the actually desired speed and then use that as the tolerance on the cameras.

          1. Fair point. I think there is an argument to allow for speedo error too. I would prefer for the police to set a policy that isn’t public though. Otherwise it becomes a game to sit as close as possible to 100km/h + tolerance.

          2. Yes good idea “set the posted speed limit 5% lower than the actually desired speed and then use that as the tolerance on the cameras.”

            A while back they did campaign on any thing over the limit could get a ticket and got a 54km/hr ticket on Mt Smart Rd….worked though I really watch it along there, very hard with such straight wide road I must say without putting along at 40km.

        2. I could take you on a road trip to part of the Napier – Taupo road. There’s a section there that is rather steep and long.

          You have two options on this part of the road:
          1) Pump your breaks on occasion, in which case your instantaneous speed may be higher or lower than the posted limit.
          2) Employ continuous breaking, in which case your breaks will get _very_ hot indeed. Perhaps dangerously so. Ever had breaks catch fire? I have and that wasn’t even on as long a stretch of road.

          The first option is the safest (after considering the surface, camber, width, everything), however the issue is that you aren’t able to _ensure_ that your average speed was below the posted limit. You should be fairly sure, but you won’t be certain.

          I’m not advocating speeding, nor am I advocating driving in a manner that is itself dangerous, or likely to induce dangerous driving. As I’ve said before, pragmatism trumps dogmatism… Unless you like making criminals of innocents (I’m counting mistakes with no impact on others as innocents here).

          Averaging systems like SPECS (https://www.saferroads.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Collins_Geoff_119_V1_2014130-Average-Speed-Enforcement-share-the-benefit-spread-the-cost.pdf) are a good thing, but need to be deployed sensibly… A safety margin that is determined by the length of the run is a sensible way of doing things, more margin (like the current 4km/h) on short runs, less margin (read 0km/h) on longer runs.

          BTW – Yeah, I agree that the police shouldn’t publicise the margin. That _would_ make people game the system, as you said.

          1. There is a third option:

            “1) Pump your breaks on occasion,[so that] your instantaneous speed [is always] lower than the posted limit.”

            ie, if you are pumping your brakes and speed changes by 10km/h let it change from 90 to 100 instead of 95 to 105.

            I agree with your idea of reducing the margin as the length of the averaging increases.

  5. I am thinking about starting a letter writing campaign to get that sign in the photo changed to replace the words “City Centre” to also read “Wellsford”.

    1. Yes it is. And if AT follow their own cycleway level of service tool, they will need to lower the actual speed to BELOW 30 km/h in every street where they are not installing a cycle lane. This probably means posting a 20 or 25 km/h speed limit.

      1. A child running out in front of a car can be killed at 15kmh. I was once with a friend driving about 20kph when one dog chased another in front of his car. Very nasty.

        You can post limits but you need them to be obeyed. Once one person breaks a law with impunity they quickly get imitated: litter or speeding or graffiti.

      2. Ironic given that most bikes have no way of measuring their own speed yet no way of being identified if they were ever held to the same speed limit. Yet a bike is easily capable of breaking a 30kmh speed limit.

        1. Bicycles aren’t an easy way to murder dozens of people by driving into a crowd at that speed either…
          Sure i can match 50kph traffic on a down hill stretch, but drivers often still attempt to overtake me. But the average speed of a bicycle is similar to a runner over the usual auckland journey with hills and avoiding dangerous road sections.

          1. Restricting urban street speed limits has nothing to do with stopping vehicle terrorism. I fail to see how that is remotely relevant. The point was that if you want to set aggressive urban speed limits in the name of safety then bikes, which have precisely zero crash protection structures, should at the very least be able to measure their speed.

          2. I’ve no problem with putting speedometers on bikes. But we need to put our money and energy into measures that will save lives first, rather than measures that are just about matching like for like in some sort of thought experiment. Reducing speeds of cars in local roads – through whatever measures, and probably all of them together – will have an enormous effect. Bikes speedos? Meh…

          3. Given that speed limits in urban areas are to protect vulnerable road users from harm caused by moving weapons, it makes little sense to be so stringent on cyclist speed.

          4. Great attitude! The thought that any person in NZ getting behind the wheel is out to murder anyone just shows how blinkered people can be in a debate.

  6. I’m not too worried about the speed limit in the tunnel. The ‘bedding in’ time will finish shortly and the 100km/hr limit will come into play. Some will still think think that is too slow…
    My beef is the 30km/hr speed limit in the Wynyard precinct. Can it please be enforced? Beaumont Street is deadly at present. Many vehicles doing in excess of 60km/hr yet the pedestrians and cyclists, as well as many other road users are adopting early to the 30km/hr zone. Pedestrians are getting very used to the ability to wander across the road with ample time with vehicles doing 30 within the precinct. Different story on Beaumont.

    1. I was there on Sunday. I didn’t see any 30 kmh signs, I was too busy looking out for pedestrians and cyclists. I wasn’t aware it was a lower speed limit area. Perhaps they need to mark the road with the speed limit. It is a very busy streetscape visually.

      1. Busy streetscapes are actually a good technic to slow the majority of vehicles down. Lowering speed in place design is much more effective that speed signs

        1. In theory you’re probably right, however in practice it’s not working in Wynyard Q.

          I don’t go there very often but when I do go I normally drive. I stick to the limit (or less where appropriate), however I’m also often holding up others when doing so. I don’t care that my obeying the law is holding them up, I do however care that my holding them up is also likely to encourage them to do something stupid, or drive distracted.

          I’d be happy for them to either throw in a mobile speed camera every now and then, or even better have an unmarked police car with mobile radar. In Wynyard Q, it’s not enough to make people slow down “some of the time”.

          Incidentally, if you go there after 23:00 on a weekday you do actually see people obeying the limit. Funny, since there’s very few people there to watch out for at that time.

          1. I have found it tends to work where the streetscape has been completed. On Beaumont street its still a wide typical road detail so this section would be the exception to that. They might not be going 30km/hr, but they definitely around the 40km/hr rather than the 60km/hr elsewhere.

            However I’ve only ever been driving there on weekends so could be different to weekday?

          2. I agree with you. I almost wonder whether it would have been better to leave Beaumont at 50 km/h until they fix the streetscape as the 30 km/h limit simply isn’t credible atm. (Arguments about whether the streetscape should be upgraded before or after the development at the point is finished aside)

  7. All of the speed signs in the waterview tunnel are electronically changeable. During times of the day when there is less traffic the limit should be raised to 100.

    1. Speed in tunnel is 80km/hr max, which is understandable, and is normal practice internationally. Due to the narrowing environment of the tunnel and increased risk of accidents within the tunnel reduction in speed will result in reduction of incidents. However the speeds should be lowered on the approaches to the tunnel, not to the extent they currently have them.

    2. I measured the width of a lane in the tunnel when I went through by bike. It was 3.25m, which is the design width for 80 km/hr. At 100 km/hr, you’d need a wider lane.

  8. People often say that you can’t have a lower speed limit than what feels natural in the environment. The problem with this is that what feels natural changes. Fraggle’s UK example shows that what feels natural has changed there. In the other direction of change, people in Auckland are now comfortable going faster in narrower lanes than they are were 30 years ago.

    Drivers do need support to lower their speed to levels that protect life. A self explaining environment (narrower lanes etc) is part of that, but it needs to be reinforced by lower speed limits and enforcement.

    We have many visitors to Auckland, and many new drivers each year, as well as an ageing population. Negotiating our motorways is tricky and if we want to be welcoming and safe for these people, keeping as much of it at 80 seems wise. Plus, learning to drive slower will make it feel natural. It’s good for us.

    1. And what “feels natural” to one person will differ from the next.
      To me this whole issue simply points to a hopelessly lax and out-of-control transport system which is long-overdue a major overhaul.

      When I travel by train, I am glad that drivers will correctly observe the speed limit, whether it “feels natural” or not. And when approaching a speed restriction, they will bring the train down to the required speed as the cab passes the sign and not several hundred metres further on where they may personally consider the limit should apply from.
      On rail, safety = No1.

      Oh, that this level of compliance and control could be found on the roads also.

      1. With Auckland Trains the signalling system doesn’t even require that the trains automatically slow down if speeding, and automatically stop if passing a stop signal meaning no overspeed risk or signals passed at danger.

      2. I think the drivers of the old diesel trains in Auckland applied a bit of ‘feels natural’ as there were a variety of speeds travelling around the Vector curve, all faster than the electrics travel around there today!

    2. Yes, I often say that myself…if the road feels fast but the posted limit is slow, you resent it and maybe you get frustrated or your attention wanders and then some people don’t respect it at all and then there’s a risk of tailgating and people making dangerous maneuvers. I do think that designing the roads consistently to send messages about the safe speed, that feels right, is the best way to go.

      So why do people obey limits as low as 40mph on the UK motorways, which can be six lanes wide; isn’t that a contradiction? Well, I think firstly it’s because the road is full of traffic, so the abundance of other vehicles do the explaining, rather than the road itself, as to what is the safe speed of travel. (Not to mention higher speeds may be physically impossible). Then there’s the fact that *you will get caught* if you speed. So no-one is resenting anyone else for obeying the limit and trying to get round them, because they know that they all ‘have’ to obey.

      You’d think you might resent that, but resistance is futile, and in a strange way, it’s more relaxing knowing that there’s no point trying to go a bit faster than you’re supposed to and that everyone else knows it too. That’s the way I see it anyway – I’m not sure about the drivers of the other 26 million vehicles.

      1. I think the *you will get caught* factor is underrated a bit. This is really obvious when you drive around in Europe. The motorways don’t feel much faster or slower in different countries, but there are large differences in compliance with speed limits due to how serious those countries are about enforcement.

        1. Yes, enforcement brings about a different mindset. I think it wouldn’t take much for NZ to have a mindset change, as we’ve had around smoking and drink driving. It’s not that those things are not done anymore, but in most circles it’s certainly more acceptable to show compliance to the laws and rules than to brag about non-compliance or to whinge about wanting laxer laws.

          Given our road fatality and serious injury stats, I would have thought that most of us have suffered a loss or seen close friends grieving. So I don’t really get the resistance to lower speeds and better enforcement.

  9. Barney Irvine from AA says ‘Its definitely not revenue collecting’
    Yeah right, how does he know that when all the evidence is there, $1M in 41days, that it is revenue collecting.
    Adequate signage, no there isn’t. I don’t see any of those display boards showing actual vehicle speed (that are sprinkled around west Auckland) sometimes with flashing SLOW DOWN message. None, nada and why? Because the police and NZTA and AA? support revenue earning. Shame on them all.

    1. Dear Sir
      It is indeed “revenue collecting” at its most basic.
      However, all revenue gathered goes to the Consolidated Fund and is not reapportioned to either NZ Police or NZTA.

      1. yes, all vehicles have that BUT watching it at all times to ensure speed limits would mean not paying attention to whats visible through the windscreen.
        Moreso if attention to road and other vehicles is critical for safety then a road sign,large or flashing speed reminder will alert the driver.

        1. Would you have these signs all across the country in places where the speed limit reduces? That would require a lot of expensive electronic signage. If not then why only in this location?

          TBH, I don’t care whether it is revenue gathering or not, it’s a voluntary tax and helps keep my tax bill down.

        2. You don’t need to “watch your speedo at all times” to keep your speed under control. You simply need to glance down at it for about ½ a second, every 10 seconds or so, in order to check the reading. That in no way diminishes the attention you are paying to what’s visible through the window. If anything it increases your focus and awareness on the overall task of driving.

          Are these people who ignore their speedometers on the excuse of diverting attention from the view ahead, the same people who will quite happily change CD’s, send text messages, and look sideways to talk to their passengers – all while driving?

          Or do they know full well what their speed is, but flout the limits deliberately?

      2. Your car has a gauge that shows your approximate speed, that typically reads up to 5% high, and will vary slightly due to tyre wear (4mm tread wear gives about 2% change in speedo reading). Quite common to have cars obstructing the passing lane at 95kmh, with drivers who believe they’re driving at the limit.

          1. And if you are not passing you should be keeping left. People who drive in the fast lane and use the excuse ‘it a limit not a target’ are just as bad as the people who use the excuses ‘I can’t look at my speedo cause I’m concentrating on the road’. Causing frustration to speeding drivers is adding fuel to the fire.

          2. Enforcing the law is the job of police officers, not Joe Public. As a motorist, you have an obligation to not to impede the flow of traffic. I sometimes wonder how this self-righteousness some Kiwis have about appointing themselves as Traffic Control contributes to poor decision making by other drivers.

          3. My point is, if I am doing 99 km/hr no one should be wanting to overtake me or they are speeding. But I regularly get overtaken when I am travelling at speeds very close to 100 km/h.

            ” you have an obligation to not to impede the flow of traffic” – yes. But that is not defined as driving at 5km/h under the speed limit.

            “self-righteousness some Kiwis have about appointing themselves as Traffic Control” – ell it sounds like that is exactly what you are doing. Leave it up to the Police to decide what is too slow. Wait for your chance to pass safely.

            Let’s be clear, slow speeds may be annoying but they are not causing deaths. Excessive speeds are, so just slow down and take a deep breath. It isn’t a macho contest and getting there 10mins later is not that big a deal.

          4. “But I regularly get overtaken when I [believe I] am travelling at speeds very close to 100 km/h.”

            Unless you have a very accurately calibrated GPS based speedometer, it is accurate to +-5km/h at best, ignoring the potential error in reading a dial.

            If you are not passing or turning and you are not in the left lane you are breaking the law either because you are too lazy to changes lanes or to deliberately hinder others. Either way, you’re an asshole. You are exactly the same as the person who blocks the cycle lane in slow moving traffic.

          5. I keep in the left lane, and pull over frequently, if I’m so unlucky to have to drive on the open road. In general I don’t know the road – because I drive so infrequently – so this is appropriate. And presumably, therefore, I’m not an asshole.

            But if other drivers are going to be called assholes for wanting to abide by the speed limit – which is 100 km/hr; not more! This is a number, not a vague adjective, – while sometimes driving in the right-hand lane then I’d like to call the name-callers out.

            It’s CREEP: Slowly improving our roads to make them safer should be resulting in a far lower road toll. This would be happening if the speeds weren’t increasing through CREEP. Social pressure to drive faster and faster instead of safer and safer is CREEP. The driver whose time is so important they have to get past the driver who is driving at a speed that used to be acceptable… It’s CREEP. Not asshole.

    2. If only 6 drivers out of every 1000 get ticketed then it’s hardly a pandemic problem.
      Is a system that works for 994 drivers out of every1000 no good simply because 6 can’t keep their speed down to the posted limit?

      There is no issue here. Why try to manufacture one?

    3. I am so bored with this ridiculous idea, it is the most inane accusation, and a tremendous diversion from real discussions on the terrible level of carnage on our roads. There is no profit motive here, no-one earns anything from these fines. And if you think the speed signs are too subtle and hard to see then I really hope I don’t ever have to share the road with you while driving… you clearly should not be in charge of anything other than a white stick.

      A more productive question is why do this fines not work? Do people prefer to pay them rather than slow down? Are they too low? Should there be other sanctions?

      Is there a fundamental disconnect between the road design and this limit? (yes).

      Are we in the midst of a new road toll crisis? (yes).

      How can we get drivers to focus and resist addictive distractions, speed, mobile phones, large display screens, etc?

      1. Why don’t fines work?

        Demerit points aren’t given for speed camera offences. Also, demerits expire after two years.
        Source: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/driving-offences-and-penalties/demerit-points/

        Therein lies part of the problem, the penalty is purely of an immediate financial nature and the enforcement on collecting the fines is lax. You need a damn big fine before there are any serious consequences. Demerits and perhaps extending the expiry period would help.

        The other part of the problem is the increasing disregard for the law, for whichever of the protean reasons one may conjure up. Demerits wouldn’t help this group, as they’d drive without a license if they wanted/needed to. Why needed to? Well, if you’re low income and break the law enough to lose your license, you still need to work. That might mean driving to your job (think cleaners, etc). This is an example of the punishment being disproportionate to the crime.

      2. Why don’t fines work → one explanation is that people don’t know they’re fined.

        Fines are sent to your postal address, so if you forget to update your address with NZTA after moving then you’re not going to receive a fine for a long time. How often do renters get evicted these days?

        And if NZTA has your address, how long does it take for a fine to arrive? Is that still 6+ months?

        In Europe a lot of speed cameras have a flash light. It’s quite obvious from that flash if you get a ticket.

    4. If you can’t keep an eye on your speedo while driving, your license should be revoked.

      Also I dont know how they could possibly add more speed signage, the amount of warning drivers are given here is ridiculous, only improvement NZTA could provide is to actually drive your car for you.

  10. Every time I’ve driven through the tunnels I’ve got stuck behind somebody doing 60km/hr sometimes less. Makes me wonder what time of day all these tickets are being issued.
    Variable speed limits outside of the tunnels and the rest of the motorways would be good, there are times when it should be above 100.
    Our work vehicles are speed tracked, so I drive 80 (in the left lane) on the motorways near the CBD where marked. Newmarket viaduct southbound is where I notice the speed differential most. The thing that is unsafe is me driving slowly, it certainly feels that way.

    1. The tickets are from the cameras placed just before the entrances which sort of makes sense and after the exits which does not. Especially the south bound exit as it is about 400m after when people naturally speed up on the beautiful wide road.
      The cameras in the tunnel including the average speed cameras are not yet active for enforcement (a law change is needed). You would be surprised what they have captured… but I’ll leave that to an OI request.

    2. Agree with Anthony. I have yet to be able to drive through the tunnels at even 75kmh let alone 80+.

      I remember though that it took several weeks before drivers stopped slowing down on entering the Victoria Park tunnel when it was new.

  11. Tell me again about the “entitled” cyclists and how precious they are. People driving cars think they can break rules left right and centre and if enough of them get pinged, there is something wrong with the rule.

    Can we apply that to cycle helmet fines? Especially since whether a cyclist wears a helmet or not has zero impact on the safety of any other person.

    1. And drivers are at least driving to a road code that’s been established based on how people drive. Cyclists don’t have the privilege of cycling to a road code that’s been established based on how people cycle. But only a cyclist would understand the difference…

  12. NZTA didn’t help the situation by posting 80km/h on the existing Northwestern motorway that was designed for 100km/h. That just made everyone believe their speed limits were nothing but bullshit.

  13. Make the speeding fine $400 and also introduce demerit points I can guarantee that people will never go over the limit.

        1. Back in the early 90’s, in a county in North Virginia, I asked why no-one overtook school buses. And why every driver – no exceptions – would stop for every pedestrian at a crossing. Eyes peeled for them…

          The answer I was given was that if you hit a pedestrian on a crossing or crossing to/from a school bus, there was an automatic gaol sentence.

          I never did figure what the real law was, but that resident believed what she was saying, anyway.

  14. “if too many tickets are being issued, then obviously the system isn’t working, and we’d need to see more done to bring speeds down,”

    I can give an example of a doggy enforcement:

    There were a speed camera from 100kmh state highway to temporary 30kmh sign on a steep downhill on short distance notice.

    Even I press my break hard with burning rubber smells, the car couldn’t managed to slow enough. I got fined with a doggy police man hiding on the 30kmh sign.

    I wouldn’t be so unhappy if they managed to put a more progressive slowing speed sign ahead to slow from 100kmh to 80kmh, then to 50kmh, then to 30kmh.

    It is actually more dangerous to break hard on downhill slippy curved road, as the car can lost control on oversteering.

    1. This story sounds dodgy (doggy?) to me. For a 30Km/h temporary limit to be applied on a 100Km/h State Highway, a comprehensive layout of advance warning signs is mandated. NZTA is very rigorous about ensuring this.

      If the signage to give you ample warning to slow down was missing then you would have a strong case for challenging your fine and also lodging a complaint to NZTA that the correct safety signage was not provided.

      Also it would be unusual for police to deploy a speed camera in a temporary 30Km/h zone. Speed enforcement in work-zones is normally done by officers with hand-held laser devices.

      Are you sure it is not your memory of what happened that is a bit dodgy?

      1. The more I drive in rural areas, the more sites I see where the Temporary Traffic Management is clearly miles beneath standard. In all of these cases the limits are essentially unenforceable. They are also completely ineffective and regularly result in death or serious injury to road users who don’t perceive the change in environment.

        If more people understood CoPTTM, they would be horrified.

  15. For 2- 3 hours every weekday morning and afternoon. The only place you have a chance of getting near 80 km/h is in the tunnel. Northwestern traffic has reverted to the usual cluster f. I think the majority of those much trumpeted travel time improvements have evaporated now. I guess induced demand is a real thing. Back to the rat runs for me.

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