Speed limits

January 17th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Jamie Morton at NZ Herald reports:

A quarter of us are driving above the speed limit on the open road.

The Ministry of Transport’s 2012 Speed Survey, released exclusively to the Herald, shows the percentage of motorists exceeding the speed limit on the open road dropped from 31 per cent in 2011 to 25 per cent last year.

That would appear to be a good thing.

More relevant is where the has occurred  There are some open roads where 110 km/hr is safe as houses and some where going over 70 km/hr is certifiable.

But while drivers may be easing off the throttle, police and officials have no plans to slow down their war against speeding.

Of course not.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the Government would this year push ahead with new anti-speeding initiatives he could not yet reveal.

I hope they are well targeted, such as focusing on areas with high accident rates.

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43 Responses to “Speed limits”

  1. MT_Tinman (2,793 comments) says:

    Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the Government would this year push ahead with new road tax initiatives he could not yet reveal.

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  2. Andrei (2,431 comments) says:

    But while drivers may be easing off the throttle, police and officials have no plans to slow down their war against speeding.

    Of course not, its a cash cow.

    It is why on holidays you see cops with radar guns a safe pieces of road where it is easy for peoples speed to creep above the arbitary limit by a few kilometers per hour filling the coffers while not far away on a dangerous stretch of road where dangerous things occur there is not a cop in sight, they being all to busy pinging granny for the dangerous and antisocial offense of driving at 105kph on a four lane motorway

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  3. Andrei (2,431 comments) says:

    They love the end of passing lanes to. I’m sure they employ agent provocateurs to drive at seventy-five to eighty, continually speeding up a little then slowing down, to gather of line of cars behind them, pissing everybody off until they come to the booby trapped passing lane where cop with radar gun awaits.

    As soon as these prats hit the passing lane suddenly they are going 100ks and all the poor buggers behind them who want to leave them in their mirrors take the risk and pay the price

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  4. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Some of the limits are just too damn slow! And why should you have to drive at 50km at say 2am…? Raise the limit after a certain time…

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  5. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    A quarter of us are driving above the speed limit on the open road.

    You could have fooled me. I find myself continually stuck behind slow drivers. By far the most dangerous driving I see is people trying to get past those slow drivers. I guess it could be explained by saying; Three quarters of us are driving well below the allowed limit, causing congestion and dangerous driving.

    The focus should be on slow drivers. They are not safe and are often all over the road, brake randomly, indicate for unknown reasons and are generally incompetent. I am showing a friend around today and will be doing a few 100 k’s on the open road. I will take note of how many “speeders” I see, compared to the time stuck behind slow vehicles.

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  6. Colville (1,779 comments) says:

    I would like to see passing lanes limited at 110 km/hr with the inside lane limited at a max of 90km/hr so you would get a differential of 20km/hr and everyone who wanted to pass the slow ones could do so.
    Then a 100 limit with a 5 km/hr tolerance over would be fine.

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  7. Dexter (265 comments) says:

    Relax limits and enforcement on 3 lane motorways where 120kmh can be perfectly safe in certain conditions. And enforce keeping to the left. The amount of drivers who pull into the ‘fast’ lane and then just sit there is simply shocking, it should be considered an overtaking lane, after you are done, pull back into the middle.

    Focus attention on the speed differential between vehicles elsewhere, targeting any who either interrupt the traffic flow by traveling too slow or excessively fast. Get everyone content to drive at a safe speed that fits somewhere in the middle capability wise ie 100-110 kmh. If you can’t achieve these speed on a straight open piece of road you should not have a drivers license and you encourage risk taking by other drivers.

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  8. BlueGriffon (204 comments) says:

    The limit on some roads should be increased to 60 k/ph! In Pakuranga/Botany the limit on some roads, Ti Rakau Dr I think, is 60 and people tend to keep to it more than they keep to the 50k limit. There are plenty of low density housing/industrial areas where a 60k limit would be safe, Neilson St in Onehunga is a good example.

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  9. RightNow (6,348 comments) says:

    Car speedometers are not generally accurate, mine reads about 8km/hr high when travelling at 100km/hr. Experience tells me only a small number of drivers actually know how true their speedometer is. I think this contributes to the slow drivers, especially drivers who worry about topping 100k even when they can go 104 and still not trip any radar.
    I freak my wife out by driving at 110 (according to my speedo) past police but have never been pulled over doing it.

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  10. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Colville
    good idea
    Except in my experience those that obstruct traffic often obstruct passing lanes as well

    Particularly those that fail to use the accelerator and pass instead matching the car beside them and staying at less then the speed limit until they realize they need to speed up at the last limit leaving a frustrated queue behind them at each passing lane.

    I would much prefer a simple regime of tickets for any that are sitting in the right hand lane with no traffic to the left of them
    often you see cocks that get on the motorway head for the right hand lane no matter that they drive well under the limit then stay there until a few meters of their desired off ramp and only then moving left.

    Keep left unless overtaking should be changed to keep to the left hand lane unless overtaking.

    If you have more than five cars behind you and you are doing under the limit.
    you should be pulled over and chained to the nearest tree for ten minutes for each car you are obstructing.
    This would encourage the ignorant fucks to think of other road users
    And to realize that our time is not theirs to squander

    If road hogs annoy you please make sure you are not one
    Make a point of checking your mirror and pulling over to allow cars to pass
    Even if you think they are travailing to fast. You are not a traffic cop. Increasing faster drivers frustration to make you feel like a Nazi traffic cop makes us all more in danger.
    Many speedos are 5% or more out your one hundred is properly 95
    If we all keep left and pull over / slow down to allow others to over take the roads will be less constricted and safer.

    PS I have seen more than once cops obstruct traffic then ticket those that pass

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  11. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    One thing often overlooked is how many fines are paid from benefits. The worst offenders, for infringement offences, are often those with little money, on a benefit, or with infrequent work. Typically they pay about $20.00 a week from their benefits, to cover their infringement offences, court fines & reparation. Often their situation becomes hopeless and they come before the Court for unpaid fines. Usually community work is the outcome, which is an even greater expense to the tax payer.

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  12. MT_Tinman (2,793 comments) says:

    As often as not it is the second car in a queue that causes the problem.

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  13. kiwiyoda (3 comments) says:

    I agree with previous comments re passing lanes. Recently ticketed on the northbound passing lane bewteen Te Horo & Otaki. Was passing drivers that were going 70-85 prior to passing lane that then sped up to 100+ not allowing me to pass. This is on a very straight section of road and the weather was perfect. Cop had the gall to tell me on such a nice day I should set my cruise control to 90 and enjoy the ride!

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  14. Andrei (2,431 comments) says:

    All this shit about speed is not about road safety it is a racket, a revenue stream for the Government nothing more or less

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  15. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    Speeding is a victimless crime. However if we accept that increased speed leads to increased risk of creating potential victims, then how many other victimless activites should we start to prosecute on the same basis?

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  16. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    The government could demonstrate that traffic fines are not a source of revenue by vesting 100% of the proceeds into a road safety trust where trustees are elected by the public and the trust is designed to fund driver safety training, and to make grants to road improvement projects.

    Not holding my breath ….

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  17. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    I have to disclose that I received discretionary treatment from a highway cop on Christmas Day.

    As Wellingtonians know, Christmas Day was a scorcher. I loaded up my car with my dive gear and headed towards my dive spot. Then I realised I’d forgotten my catch bag, so turned around at the next exit and was heading back along the SH1 motorway north. Remember the speed “tolerance” then was 4km/h.

    Because I was now going to be about 30 minutes late getting to my spot, I was heading north with my speedo showing close to 120. Clear day, little traffic, hot as a hot thing, separated traffic, little risk (IMHO). I got pinged by radar.

    The officer went through the ritual: breath test (zero), warrant (good), registration (good), licence check (good), background check (saintly). He told me he had me on the laser at 114. He then told me he was showing discretion and was warning me only.

    I consider myself very lucky, was very observant of speed from then on. Just wanted to tell that story so that people know it’s not always a given that they’ll go for quota fill.

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  18. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    griff

    Keep as far left as practicable and keep left unless passing (on motorways) are already in the road code. Trouble is there is no sanction. That is why they are considering bringing in the undertaking law whereby you cannot in the left lane overtake a car in the right lane (as is law in the UK) and consequently a sanction for not keeping left. Dumb as far as I am concerned as there can be many reasons why the left lane might be more clear than the right.

    Better to hammer those hogging the right lane.

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  19. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    Actually there are penalties…

    Here is the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004. See rule 2.1

    And here is the Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999

    There is provision for a penalty of $1000 on summary conviction and $150 infringement fee for breaching rule 2.1

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  20. RRM (8,994 comments) says:

    Rouppe (9:38am) –
    Hear hear, they are certainly not all the bastards some people would have you think.

    I was heading north up SH1 a couple of years ago, when a cop camped out by the side of the road near Hunterville flashed his headlights at me as if to say “Slow down, Son!” I immediately checked my speedo – had crept up to about 68 MPH (1971 Triumph with English-spec instruments.)

    Now, SH1 through the Rangitikei country is one of the most heavily-patrolled areas of Highway anywhere, and this was a wide deserted road very early in the morning on a glorious day. The cop could have so easily clicked his VE SV8 Commodore into Drive, caught up with me and pulled me over without even spilling his coffee… but he didn’t.

    It’s almost like he was a good guy who could see I was just an otherwise sensible driver who’d inadvertently let my speed build slightly and harmlessly through a moment of not watching the clocks… on a wide, straight, deserted road, endangering no-one.

    Strange as I keep hearing they’re all cynical quote-filling bastards hell-bent on lining the Government’s coffers with ticket revenue from law-abiding citizens… :-)

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  21. annie (533 comments) says:

    I make a point of not speeding, and use cruise control to achieve this without constantly having to monitor my speed. People who say speed is a victimless crime are mistaken – there is plenty of good evidence to the contrary, and the human mess from a decent crash where one or more vehicles were speeding is considerable, the people who die immediately at the scene often being the relatively lucky ones.

    But on the open road these holidays, the most dangerous drivers are consistently the idiots who do 80-90 and refuse to pull over despite ample opportunity. They often speed up to 100-105 in passing lanes too so no-one can get past them. I find them completely enraging, and can see the urge to pass even if the road ahead isn’t completely visible.

    I’ve never seen a cop pull over a slow driver, even if they’re sitting with a camera monitoring the speed of passing streams of traffic where the front car is doing 80 and there are 20 cars piled up behind them.

    And a special word for tailgaiting speeding bullying tourist buses, especially in Southland.

    We need enforcement of moderately considerate road behaviour in the interests of overall road safety.

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  22. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    I’ve been pulled over half a dozen times for speeding, never given a ticket. Got plenty of automated ones from speed cameras though.

    The drivers I really hate, apart from those who take longer than 0.00001 seconds to move forward on a green light, or who fail to indicate, or who move to the right of the road to turn left, or who hang their cigarettes out the windows, the ones I REALLY hate are fucking road rangers who sit in the right hand lane at 100k. You should legally be allowed to rear end them and shunt them into the median barrier.

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  23. RF (1,131 comments) says:

    Although I hang out in the North Island I am aware that the highway through the McKenzie Basin between Tekapo & Twizell is a real speed trap. Long straights with the Highway Patrol parked up on the bridges over the canals. They can pick you up well before you see them. Money for jam.

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  24. OTGO (457 comments) says:

    The motorway speed limit is too low by 20 kph. I like the arguements in this link, http://stop100.ca/ from Ontario. Pretty much sums up my feelings.
    And lets face it, everyone is a bad driver except me.

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  25. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    RRM: Other side of the coin

    I was driving north to Rotorua. Going along the road approaching Taihape. This was some 10 years ago mind, and I usually did speed then. This particular day I’d decided that I was going to meticulously stick to the speed limit to see whether it made much diffrence on a trip of the length of Wgtn-Rotorua.

    So I’m going along SH1 10 or 15 minutes out of Turangi. Cop sitting on the other side of the road. He turns around and follows me. Just follows, no lights or sirens. He approaches quite fast till he is only a couple of car lengths behind (at 100kph). Holds there a minute, pulls back for a minute. Rushes up, holds, pulls back. Does this about 3 times, then follows me into Turangi.

    We normally stop at Brown Sugar for a break so I pull into that side road (Huia St), and park. Cop pulls up, gets out of the car. I start to get out and he walks up and pushed the door shut telling me to stay inside. Taken aback I kinda just gape open mouthed.
    PO: You’ve been seen speeding
    ME: Where
    PO: Hunterville
    ME: You’re mistaken
    PO: You were seen
    ME: By whom?
    PO: By people who spoke to me
    ME: You’re wrong. Show me proof
    PO: I don’t have to, I’m just warning you
    ME: I resent being warned by a cop who didn’t see any wrongdoing, is acting on hearsay and is in fact in no position to do anything
    PO: Watch yourself, I will be
    ME: I’m going for a coffe. Step aside.

    By this I was literally shaking with anger. My partner works for Police (non-sworn) which we don’t usually mention at times like this so the only reason I didn’t go ape at this turkey was because of her job.

    Ruined my day, actually…

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  26. slijmbal (1,134 comments) says:

    Coincidentally just got a speeding ticket in the post – worked out must have been a police van on a stretch of road never seen an accident on in 20+ years. It’s one of those 50 km/hour zones where it’s really easy to be doing over the limit as long straight stretch with low levels of traffic and no traffic lights, crossings, shops etc.

    Definitely speeding, speeding and I’ll pay the tax but don’t tell me it is about safety based on the location of the traffic camera.

    There is a fixed camera up the road – the camera is placed at the bottom of a dip in the road to catch that natural acceleration that occurs if you’re not paying proper attention – they even got the mother-in-law with that one (an exceedingly careful driver who was mortified to get a speeding ticket) – once again not a dangerous stretch, no schools close by, not a spot people cross the road, no shops etc etc.

    About 500m down the road from there is a nicely dangerous spot where there are regular accidents as drivers accelerate significantly to go through a traffic light on red. No-one has died that I am aware of but that’s more because most coming from the cross road at the traffic lights have learnt to wait several seconds before pulling away. This situation has been in place 20+ years that I am aware – it has been suggested to put a speed or red light camera there on many occasions – coppers don’t seem to want to know.

    I can only think of three speed trap locations (fixed, radar gun or van) that really appear to be about safety and I drive a lot in Auckland.

    I can think of several other examples of location or lack of cameras highlights the lie about safety being the key driver.

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  27. RightNow (6,348 comments) says:

    absolutely slijmbal. If speed cameras are 1) intended to improve road safety and 2) proven to work as intended then why don’t we see fixed speed cameras at all accident black spots?

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  28. pq (728 comments) says:

    I am cruising now in the early morning light and it is beautiful, I can see everything,
    can you see the mountains here, and where are we going it does not matter, the dashboard is cool,
    the cops are not out its six int the morning, and we are in the famouus Country

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  29. UrbanNeocolonialist (135 comments) says:

    So number of speeders decreased 2011-2012, yet road toll increased for 284 to 306. That’s a rather inconvenient statistic for the anti-speeding line. Says that the doctrinaire focus on speeding is misplaced.

    Actually it appears most of the difference is in motorbikes, which are phenomenally dangerous – killing about 20% as many as die in cars even though they are a tiny proportion of all road users.
    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/road-deaths/toll.html

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  30. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    This comes up as a topic about once a month. Last time it did I posted a link to a literature review done by an employee of the Australian transport dept when seconded to Monash University (both institutions who never saw a limit they didn’t want to lower) which concluded:

    Whereas the relationship between speed and accident severity is well understood the same cannot be said for the role of speed in accident causation.

    There’s more there too, including research which found that a 10 mph increase in US highway speeds resulted in a decrease in fatal accidents.

    We all know speed alone rarely kills, which is why when someone is blind drunk driving on bald tyres in the middle of a storm with their eyes closed while being orally pleasured and doing 110 km/h crashes, police say “speed was a factor in the crash” and add it to the statistics they present to lazy politicians who can’t be bothered doing their own research and rubber stamp more penalties.

    So here we have another Quisling politician, collaborating with police to support an unecessarily harsh enforcement regime being imposed upon the people he’s supposed to represent.

    I never thought I’d say this, but what a pity the voters of Tauranga turned their backs on Winston and elected Bridges. Whatever Winston’s myriad other faults, peddling this nonsense wasn’t one of them.

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  31. wally (58 comments) says:

    I got a speed camera ticket going through Riwaka at 6.30 am on Jan 2nd. 55k in a 50k zone. No other car in sight. Safety?

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  32. wreck1080 (3,526 comments) says:

    Agree re the speeds.

    We should also have the free left turn on a red light. Works very well in the USA.

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  33. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    We all know speed alone rarely kills, which is why when someone is blind drunk driving on bald tyres in the middle of a storm with their eyes closed while being orally pleasured and doing 110 km/h crashes, police say “speed was a factor in the crash”

    So Rex, were you fined? ;)

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  34. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    @KK

    I tried explaining that I swerved to avoid the tree that kept swaying this way and that… no matter which way I turned, it leaned the other way, but they didn’t believe me.

    Last time I buy a damned car air freshener…

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  35. RF (1,131 comments) says:

    In a different life when I was one of NZs finest I used to stop the odd motorist for speeding. If everything checked out OK and they did not poke you in the chest claiming that they paid my wages I would usually let them go. It’s called passing the attitude test.

    One time I was really pissed off with a drivers attitude and about to put pen to paper he pulled out his ID card. A bloody Police Inspector that worked in the traffic bureau where they decide to prosecute or not.

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  36. nasska (9,542 comments) says:

    RF

    Years ago a bloody good bloke who had been a country cop for over twenty years took over our local watering hole as publican. His driver’s licence still showed his occupation as ‘police constable’ & he was in no hurry to change it.

    Best ‘get out of gaol’ card ever for traffic infringements he reckoned.

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  37. Steve (North Shore) (4,324 comments) says:

    Just build some decent bloody roads. There should be no ‘passing lanes’
    The amount of road user Taxes being paid is not used for building/upgrading roads. Big wide roads – so there is no need to speed to get past the Socialist Control Freak driving at 99.99KPH or 60KPH on a 80KPH curve.
    When the speed limits are abuse the prosecute the hell out of the bastards, there is no excuse for doing 180KPH or even 80KPH in a 50K zone. By prosecute I don’t mean a fine, I mean off the road and then Jail

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  38. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,786 comments) says:

    North Korea doesn’t have a problem with speeding motorists. Simon Bridges should go on a fact finding visit there to learn about there “Anti-speeding initiatives”.

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  39. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    @RF

    It doesn’t help the motorist’s attitude when the first question is often “Any reason for the speed?”.

    He knows as well as I do that the speed laws are deliberately written so as to be binary – you’re over, in which case you’re guilty and contribue to the government’s coffers, or you’re not and that pretty much any reason is invalid as a defence.

    It seemed to me to be a set-up so that the officer had the opportunity to deliver a roadside homily about how your reason, whatever it was, wasn’t good enough. I mean aside from “a woman is giving birth in the backseat” or “I’ve been shot”, what would pass the test?!

    I was always tempted to pull out a pad and pen and explain v= d/t. After all, that is the underlying reason for speeding :-D

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  40. nasska (9,542 comments) says:

    Rex

    Best not try the explanation I gave to the, “any reason we caught you speeding Sir,” question once. I can confirm that, “because I forgot to turn the radar detector back on”, doesn’t work. :)

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  41. RF (1,131 comments) says:

    How about .. Where’s the fire or what’s the hurry. Worked ok for me. You can sense the anal ones and then you give the vehicle a good going over. One of the smaller towns I worked in had a dangerous armed escaper on the run and we were all openly carrying sidearms. It was very obvious that anyone we stopped .. Was yes sir, no sir . Very polite.

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  42. CharlieBrown (792 comments) says:

    Cops with radar guns are one of the reasons why people hate and don’t respect the police.

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  43. RF (1,131 comments) says:

    You have to understand that it’s a game to some. Trying to book the most motorists in a given period. Usually per shift although if your stats are down no warnings towards the end of the month. Just like booking minors in hotels.

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