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Poll-driven speed camera policy won't work

Tony Ryall National Police Spokesman

3 November 2003

Poll-driven speed camera policy won't work

Transport Minister Paul Swain is a ministerial puppet if he's going to rely on the Land Transport Safety Authority's latest poll results to justify his speed camera policy, says National's Police Spokesman Tony Ryall.

The LTSA is claiming widespread support for their hidden speed camera plans and cuts to the speed camera tolerance, from 10kms over the limit to only 5kms, as a result of a recent survey.

"Hidden speed cameras don't work. Ministers Gosche and Hawkins scrapped the Waikato-Bay of Plenty hidden speed camera trial in 2000 saying it didn't reduce speeds or save lives. The LTSA won't admit it, but at the same time hidden speed cameras were introduced, Waikato Police put a special road safety team on the road.

"And the LTSA knows this," says Mr Ryall.

"Reducing the tolerance on speeding from 10 to 5kms over the limit won't improve road safety either. The LTSA itself has advised a 10km tolerance on speedometres.

"This plan will only make more people criminals and colour their view of the police.

"Most accidents in New Zealand involve cars travelling under the speed limit. According to LTSA's own data only 16% of accidents involved a car travelling over the speed limit.

"The issue is excessive speed and inappropriate speed for the conditions and that's what should be targeted.

"The LTSA blatantly trying to influence ministers through the media, with Mr Swain complicit," says Mr Ryall.

Ends

[Attached - Copy of Parliamentary Written Question 9204 (2003)]


SEARCH QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

9204 (2003). Hon Tony Ryall to the Minister of Transport (8 September 2003):
What percentage of motor vehicle accidents occurred at speeds slower than the posted limit of the places in which the accidents occurred, in each of the past five years?
Hon Paul Swain (Minister of Transport) replied: The Land Transport Safety Authority advises that several vehicles may be involved in a motor vehicle crash. Crash reports do not always include the estimated speeds of all the vehicles involved, and for approximately one quarter of all crashes no estimated vehicle speeds are recorded. Estimates in crash reports are based on the opinions of crash participants, witnesses and Police Officers.

The attached table [table 1] gives the percentage of motor vehicle crashes in which all the vehicles with recorded estimated speeds were travelling more slowly than the posted speed limit in force at the time of the crash, for each of the past five years.

For fatal crashes, 60%, approximately, of the crash reports include the estimated speeds of any of the vehicles in the crash. Fatal crashes feature a higher percentage of vehicles recorded as travelling over the limit (around 26%) compared to injury crashes
(around 17%), and a lower percentage of vehicles travelling under the speed limit (around 40%) compared to injury crashes (around 51%). The attached table [Table 2] gives the percentages of fatal motor vehicle crashes for each of the past five years in which:
(1) all the vehicles with recorded estimated speeds were travelling more slowly than the posted speed limit in force at the time of the crash;
(2) any of the vehicles with recorded estimated speeds were travelling above the posted speed limit.
Table 9204

Table 1

Year All reported crashes for which estimated vehicle speeds are recorded Percentage of crashes in which all the vehicles with recorded speeds were travelling more slowly than the posted limit Percentage of crashes in which any of the vehicles with recorded speeds were travelling above the posted limit
1998 6275 50.3% 19.2%
1999 6094 49.9% 18.0%
2000 5558 51.5% 17.6%
2001 6308 53.4% 16.4%
2002 7447 53.9% 15.7%

Table 2

Year All fatal crashes All fatal crashes for which estimated vehicle speeds are recorded Percentage of crashes in which all the vehicles were travelling more slowly than the posted limit Percentage of crashes in which any of the vehicles were travelling above the posted speed limit
1998 436 258 40% 31%
1999 434 264 46% 22%
2000 383 213 41% 24%
2001 395 230 42% 26%
2002 363 198 37% 27%


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