10 Nov 2011

Speeders clocked at almost 200km/h

6:00 pm on 10 November 2011

Maximum speeds recorded by cameras of nearly 200km/h are still well below the speeds being reached on New Zealand roads, some commentators say.

The top speed recorded in the past three and a half years by a speed camera was 194km/h on State Highway 8 at Lake Tekapo in 2008.

The 36 top speeds were above 160km/h - including one of 169km/h in a 60km/h speed zone.

Acting road policing manager Superintendent Rob Morgan says the speeds are ridiculous and people who crash going that fast will die.

He says the recorded speeds by the cameras are also representative of what is reported by officers.

There are not too many places on New Zealand roads where the top recorded speeds could be reached, Mr Morgan says.

But road safety commentator Clive Matthew-Wilson, of car review website dogandlemon.com, says the speeds being recorded by the cameras are by no means the highest he has heard of.

"The hardcore petrol heads have specific roads that they go to, to speed down. They tend to speed down them at night. They tend to be very well organised, and they're well away from the public view, and rather more importantly they're well away from the police view."

A motorcyclist told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme that he and many other motorcycle riders did "substantially more" than 200km/h in certain areas at certain times. He mentioned a speed of 260km/h.

He says he heard a report of someone recording a speed of 305km/h just outside Feilding about two months ago.

When he knows he is being chased by the police and does not want to be caught, the police will never catch him, the motorcyclist says.

"I know that they've tried to catch me many times, but if I don't want to be caught they won't get me, because I will go fast enough that they will have to call off the chase."