Canterbury Police will be targeting speed for the next six months says Inspector Derek Erasmus, Road Policing Manager for Canterbury.
Fatalities related to speeding or speed too fast for conditions increased to 23 in 2008 compared to 13 the previous year, (2007). For the past five years there has been an average of 200 speed related injury crashes per year.
Superintendent Dave Cliff, the Canterbury District Commander said - "Last year, Police announced our 'no tolerance for crime' approach for Canterbury. Excessive speed remains the biggest killer on our roads and police will be adopting that 'no tolerance' approach to speeding drivers who put all road users at risk. We will be particularly targeting those drivers who recklessly speed near schools.
"We are very clear on what we want to achieve. The crash impact speed decides the severity of injury to vehicle occupants, pedestrians or cyclists. The lower the impact speed, the less likely the injury will be severe or fatal. We want speeds down right across Canterbury and we want fewer people killed and injured."
Canterbury has the highest average speeds on urban and rural roads in the country with 42% of drivers exceeding 100 km/h and 73% exceeding 50 km/h.
"The public can expect to see an increase in the number of Police enforcing speed on the road, and can also expect to be prosecuted if caught speeding. It is simple - for the sake of other road users, especially children, slow down," says Inspector Erasmus.
This new focus follows the very successful recent focus on seatbelts and alcohol in 2008, he says.
For the first six months of 2008 Canterbury Police tripled the number of drivers and passengers prosecuted for not wearing seatbelts, (9000 up from 3000 during the comparable time in 2007) and in the second six months more than doubled the number of drivers breath tested, (250,000 from 100,000).
In 2008 the number of car occupants killed who were not wearing seatbelts halved, and the number of alcohol related deaths was a third of the previous year, (21 in 2007, down to six in 2008).
"We'd like to be making a similar impact on Speed in Canterbury and shall be putting all available resources towards this," says Inspector Erasmus.