The Ministry of Speeding

August 14th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

Staff at the agency charged with making our roads safer have been caught illegally hooning in work cars at least 8500 times in nine months – twice at 145km/h – and not one will get a ticket.

The speeding staff at the NZ Transport Agency include a member of the senior leadership team and a handful of managers.

In a three-month sample of the data, at least 45 of NZTA’s 139 cars were found to have been driven “consistently at speeds over 110km/h and sustained high speed over a number of kilometres”.

A NZ Herald analysis of data obtained through the Official Information Act found 8500 occasions on which NZTA cars were driven faster than 110 km/h – well over any unofficial tolerance applied to speed enforcement. There were 910 instances where the cars were driven at speeds greater than 120km/h – and 130 instances of speeds more than 130km/h.

Of those, eight people exceeded 140km/h, with at least one going more than 145km/h.

Good detective work by the Herald.

How stupid do you have to be to speed when you are in an NZTA work car, with GPS.

Minister of Transport Simon Bridges described the data as disappointing and embarrassing. “To say I’m unimpressed would be one of my big understatements. I’m very disappointed … You’ve got a government agency here that is a key player in road safety and in many cases it has not led by example.”

Mr Bridges, who has not had a speeding ticket since becoming an MP: “That’s certainly something I don’t want to be. I’ve directly contacted both the chair and chief executive on learning about this. I’ve made my views and expectations crystal clear. I’ve sought assurances from them both that … speeding will come down. It is embarrassing.”

Chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said the speeding was “unacceptable”. He said staff identified as exceeding the speed limit have “had a formal conversation with their manager”. Asked if that was the same as a verbal warning, he agreed.

If particular staff have routinely sped at very high speeds (say over 120), then I think more than that may be needed. This is not them as private citizens, but them as NZTA staff, using NZTA vehicles, on NZTA business.

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 speeding 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.

The land speed record

October 19th, 2011 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A New Zealand entrepreneur wants to build the fastest car in the world. But now the hard work starts – raising $30 million to make it roll.

Jetblack is the brainchild of Wellington residential property developer Richard Nowland and has the support of the government-owned Industrial Research, which says it is contributing expertise and staff time.

A fibreglass replica of the 13m black vehicle was unveiled at the Cloud in Auckland as part of the effort by NZ2011 to show off local design and technology.

The land speed record stands at 1227km/h and Nowland hopes to break it in the rocket-powered vehicle within five years. Its power will come from two California-built hybrid rockets similar to those used on Virgin Galactic’s passenger spacecraft.

Good luck to him. It is hard to imagine travelling that fast on land. 1227 km/hr means every second you would travel around 341 metres. This is just below the speed of sound.

A speeding Key

October 5th, 2009 at 5:35 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Prime Minister John Key was driven at more than twice the legal speed limit across battered Samoan roads so he could have a shower before seeing tsunami damage.

Journalists travelling with the speeding motorcade report fearing for their lives as they careered at more than 100kmh to deliver the prime minister from the airport to the high commission.

The legal speed limit is 40kmh.

John Key’s office has said New Zealand police who were part of the motorcade claim the maximum speed it reached was 64kmh during his visit. The motorcade later slowed after Mr Key’s staff expressed concern at the speed.

“Staff were uncomfortable with the speed, which NZ police inform us reached a maximum of no more than 40 miles per hour,” spokesman Kevin Taylor said. “Samoan authorities were notified of the concern at the end of the first movement, and the speed of the motorcade was reduced in subsequent movements.”

But journalists driving with the motorcade agree it reached speeds of more than 100kmh, with one reporting 120kmh – three times the limit.

What got Clark into trouble wasn’t the speeding per se, but her insistence that she had not even noticed they were driving at 170+ km/hr as she was so engrossed talking to Jim Sutton, and then leaving the police officers out to dry.

I’m pleased to see the staff noticed the speed, and asked for it to slow down. That will or should mean that it does not become as big an issue.

300 km/hr!

May 31st, 2008 at 9:20 am by David Farrar

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is under attack for admitting he once drove over 300 km/hr on a public road.

Is anyone surprised? It is classic Clarkson.

He was driving a Bugatti Veyron, which has a top speed of 407 km/hr. That is one third of supersonic speed!

Sadly the fuel tank only lasts 12 minutes at that speed, but on the plus side you can travel 80 km in those 12 minutes! This is not a bad thing though as after 15 minutes the tyres have melted!

The acceleration is very nice – reaches 100 km/hr in 2.5 seconds which is equal to 1.2G. And it can brake at 1.3G. It can go from 400 km/hr to a stop in under 10 seconds.

I wonder how much one costs to buy?

New Speed Campaign

April 25th, 2008 at 10:38 am by David Farrar

A copy of the new anti-speeding advertisement from the Ministry of Transport

Hat Tip: Stephen Franks