The Ministry of Speeding

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 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 ’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.

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