Police are hoping that no speeding drivers will be caught on its four speed cameras operating at the new Waterview tunnel – especially with motorists being given advance warning on NZ Transport Agency signage that the cameras will be enforcing from this afternoon.
Road Policing Manager of Operations, Inspector Pete McKennie, says the move to enforcement mode follows a period of rigorous testing, which has involved operating the cameras to monitor traffic flows, with Police and the Transport Agency using alternate methods of enforcement and education to encourage safe driver behaviour.
“Although it will take some time to process infringement notices from speed cameras operating at Waterview, Police hope not to have to issue any at all - especially with a new initiative that uses variable message signage to warn drivers that the cameras are enforcing. This means there is really no excuse for drivers to miss the warnings and therefore easily avoid a fine,” he says. “It’s all about ensuring people travel at safe speeds to get through their journey safely rather than issuing tickets.
“This would also show that everyone using the tunnel is continuing to travel at a safe and reasonable speed, which will greatly assist the smooth flow of traffic for all Aucklanders trying to get safely from A to B. This is because the nature of the tunnel means that there if there was to be a major crash, the results would likely be serious and very disruptive, especially given the high volumes of traffic travelling in close proximity and in a confined space, even with the range of safety features that have been built into the tunnel’s design. Any serious crash would also undoubtedly cause major traffic chaos for large numbers of Aucklanders,” he says.
Mr McKennie says Police has been continuing to maintain a highly visible presence in and around the tunnel as people get used to the new route to help enforce and encourage safe driver behaviour.
“Various monitoring of traffic flows and driver behaviour to date has been really encouraging, with average traffic speeds coming in below the 80km/hr speed limit set for the tunnel. That’s something we very much want to continue, so we will be continuing to work closely with the Transport Agency to ensure the safety of everyone using the tunnel. While our preference would be not to issue any notices, the 80km/h speed limit is in place for good reason to keep everyone safe, so we won’t hesitate to prosecute where appropriate those who ignore the limit and put others on the road, and themselves, at risk.”
Police retains none of the fines from speed cameras. This goes to the Government’s consolidated fund.
Media note: Infringement numbers (including excess speeds by speed band) are not immediately available due to the standard processing time delay for infringements. This data is expected to be proactively released as soon as is practicable in line with Police’s standard quarterly reporting.