Two trials of average speed cameras and warning signs are good moves to explore fairer and more effective ways of helping drivers stick to the speed limit, says the AA.
The Government today announced that in 2019 it will trial average speed cameras in the Waterview Tunnel and at a roadworks site on the Southern Motorway in Auckland.
“Average speed cameras are used in many other countries so it makes sense for us to trial them here in New Zealand,” says AA Principal Advisor – Regulations Mark Stockdale.
“If they can help us to get more people travelling at safe speeds and less tickets being issued that will be a win-win for everyone.”
Average speed cameras (also known as point-to-point cameras) measure how long it takes a vehicle to travel along a stretch of road. Unlike current cameras, which just capture a vehicle’s speed at a moment in time, the new cameras will only ticket vehicles travelling at an excessive average speed over the whole stretch of road.
A recent survey of AA Members found the majority supported the idea of average speed cameras.
“Overseas experience is that average speed cameras are better at keeping speeds down over wider areas than traditional cameras,” says Mark.
“Importantly, they also had much lower ticketing rates as they are focussed on catching people who are consistently above the limit. The majority of drivers who aim to stick to the limit but might accidentally go above it briefly will avoid a ticket.”
Trial of warning signs at fixed speed camera sites
Elsewhere in Auckland, there will also soon be signage trialled at the locations of traditional fixed speed cameras.
“Global leaders in road safety like Sweden and the UK all have signs ahead of fixed speed cameras and the AA has been calling for many years to return to having signs ahead of fixed speed cameras. We are extremely pleased to see a trial looking at this,” says Mark.
“Fixed speed cameras are located in known high-risk areas so the best outcome for safety is giving people a chance to check their speed and to slow down if they need to.
“Giving fair warning to drivers so they have every opportunity to slow down also helps counter claims that the cameras are about revenue-gathering.
“Having cameras that issue millions of dollars in fines year-after-year shows that we need to be trying different approaches like these trials. Every ticket that gets issued is a failure because it means that someone has been travelling at an unsafe speed,” says Mark.
For more information contact:
Principal Advisor – Regulations
New Zealand Automobile Association
T. 04 931 9986
M. 021 434 097
E. [email protected]