AA asks: When will more speed cameras get warning signs?

27 March 2024

AA asks: When will more speed cameras get warning signs?

New Zealand will soon have its first permanent speed camera with warning signage go live – but the AA cannot understand why it is the only one.

In November 2019, the Government at that time announced a ‘no surprises’ approach to speed cameras in which signage would be placed ahead of all permanent speed cameras telling drivers they were in a “safety camera area”. Mobile cameras will remain unsigned and continue operating as they currently do.

AA road safety spokesperson Dylan Thomsen says four years have passed and there remains next to no permanent cameras with signage out of the near 60 across the country. Of ten new permanent cameras added to roads in Auckland and Northland late last year, only the one on SH1 in Kawakawa will have signage. At present the Kawakawa camera remains in trial mode and is yet to go live.

The 10 new cameras are located in high-risk crash areas where the speed limit has been lowered to 80km/h in recent years:

  • Ostrich Rd, Franklin
  • Mill Rd, Pukekohe East
  • Waitākere Rd, Taupaki
  • Waiuku Rd , Waiuku
  • Glenbrook-Waiuku Rd, Waiuku
  • Dairy Flat Highway , Dairy Flat
  • Papakura-Cleavedon Rd, Ardmore
  • Linwood Rd, Karaka
  • McKenzie Rd Kingseat
  • SH1 Northland Kawakawa (signed)

“The AA’s position for many years has been that permanent speed cameras need to be signposted so people have an opportunity to check their speed and slow down if needed in high-risk locations where the consequences of speeding can be much more serious.

“Some people speed intentionally but others may genuinely think the limit is higher than it is, or they might have unknowingly let their speed creep up. A warning sign reminder is a much better option than a ticket for people in those groups.

“On roads that have had speed limit reductions in recent times, we also think it makes sense to put repeater signs for the new limit at the same place as signs alerting drivers to the camera area.”

Apart from the Kawakawa camera that is due to go live shortly, the only other permanent camera that has some form of signage is at Kauri on State Highway 1 in Northland. Since the installation of ‘Reduce Speed Now’ signs in 2018, speeding infringements have more than halved.

“The reduction in tickets is great news because that means more people are travelling within the limit near Kauri - it’s a huge win for safety. We’d like to see this replicated at other high-risk locations around the country,” Dylan says.

While the ‘Reduce Speed’ sign at Kauri has seen a huge reduction in tickets, Dylan says the AA believes the results could be even better if specific speed camera warning signs were used. The installation of speed camera warning signage could be done relatively quickly and cheaply, and would go a long way to encouraging more drivers to stay within the limit, Dylan says.

“The primary function of speed cameras is deterrence, not punishment. Giving people fair warning that they might get pinged and an opportunity to travel within the speed limit is the right thing to do.”


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