Mike Noon from the AA writes in the Herald:
The AA is one of the leading road safety campaigners in New Zealand, we support the use of speed cameras and do not condone speeding. But let’s take a step back for a moment and consider what is the ultimate aim of the cameras? The answer is obviously getting drivers to slow down.
Fixed speed cameras (the ones mounted on permanent poles) are placed in safety black-spots where there has been a history of speed-related crashes. …
The fact that some of these cameras are still issuing thousands of tickets shows the current approach isn’t succeeding and that speeds are not being managed.
Having signs alerting drivers that there is a speed camera area or camera operating ahead will ensure more drivers slow down in these black-spots, and this has to be a good thing.
The other key point in this debate is that the AA is only calling for signs ahead of fixed speed cameras. We support the continued use of mobile cameras without signage, such as vans on the side of the road.
So if a driver chooses to slow down for a signposted fixed camera and then speed back up again, they can be caught by the anytime, anywhere mobile cameras, and of course they can be caught by police officers on patrol. Our call is not about helping drivers to avoid tickets, it’s about getting drivers to slow down and to check their speed, especially in high-risk areas.
Having signs alerting drivers to a fixed speed camera is done in Australia, Britain, and most other countries we compare ourselves to for road safety best practice.
I think the AA makes incredibly valid points, and the Police and Government should reconsider their policy. Otherwise the suspicion will remain that revenue is more important than safety.