The Dom Post reports:
Speeding motorists used to driving 10kmh over the maximum speed limit will not get away with it this weekend, as police trial a zero tolerance policy to cut road deaths.
Police say New Zealand’s 10 per cent tolerance zone is higher than other countries, and cutting it could help change the attitudes of motorists who claim lives.
How many road deaths are caused by people driving at 56 km/hr in a 50 zone? Or 106 kmhr on a multi-lane motorway?
This is naked revenue gathering, which will see thousands of people fined for driving just over the speed limit, unaware that the tolerance has been lowered.
I supported a lowered tolerance around school buses and crossings. There t makes sense. Hell I tend to slow down to 30 km/hr around a school bus or crossing.
But a blanket lowering of the tolerance is about meeting ticket and/or revenue quotas.
The Automobile Association predicts the move will anger motorists unaware of the change, or driving with inaccurate speedometers.However, as another life was lost on our roads yesterday, national road policing manager Superintendent Paula Rose said police needed new weapons to change driver behaviour. “There can be no excuses. We are killing our people and we want it to stop.”
Bullshit. Road safety policy is a balance between safety and convenience. If the only focus was the road toll, then we would simply have a law requiring all vehicles to be fitted with a device that limits the maximum speed to 30 km/hr.
What I want to hear from the Police is the research they have done to conclude that lowering the threshold (which has been in place for around 30+ years) will be effective.
AA motoring affairs manager Mike Noon agreed that roads had to be made safer, but said the tolerance existed to allow for speedometer error, which could occur when motorists changed their tyres.
Speedometers were not checked during warrant tests and it would be difficult for motorists to measure such small speed differences.
To keep within the zone, they could end up spending more time on the wrong side of the road while passing, so police would need to enforce the change carefully, Mr Noon said.
The Police don’t eve use discretion any more for people passing slow moving traffic, even though it is basically impossible to do it legally. If a vehicle is driving at 90 km/hr, you will need two kms of clear road to safely pass them without exceeding 100 km/hr.
I am dismayed that once again changes are being made to road safety enforcement, that is not backed up by research showing this is a problem area. The Government is going for the easy targets, not the effective ones.
First they banned cellphones in cars, despite the research showing other distractions cause more accidents.
Secondly they seem highly likely to lower the blood alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05 despite the research showing only one death from drivers aged over 25 with a blood level between 0.05 and 0.08.
And now they have decided that the real problems out there are the motorists going 5 km/hr hour over the posted speed limit, who must be fined and demerited. Despite the fact I can guarantee you the number of accidents caused by people driving 5 km/hr over the speed limit on straight roads is minimal.
And what is the bet that if these measures don’t work, we will be told then even more measures are needed.