22 Jul 2015

Crackdown on speeding Nelson drivers

4:58 pm on 22 July 2015

Police are cracking down on speeding drivers on a stretch of Nelson highway where a vehicle was recorded travelling at almost 200 kilometres an hour.

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Photo: RNZ

They said evidence gathered through electronic monitoring devices in the road and from social media revealed large numbers of drivers travelling at alarming speeds along Whakatu Drive.

Nelson Bays Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Peter Carmody said they have been concerned for some time about driver behaviour on the stretch of open highway between Nelson and Richmond.

Information from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) vehicle counts showed that, over a seven-day period, some 4000 vehicles on Whakatu Drive were travelling at an average speed of 113km/h. The highest speed detected during that period was 198km/h.

One motorist clocked at 170km/h received a nine-month disqualification when they appeared in the Nelson District Court recently.

Nelson Bays Road Policing Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews said the evidence gathered showed there were a significant number of people putting themselves and other road users at risk every day on Whakatu Drive.

"The speeds we are aware of would mean a crash would most likely be unsurvivable," he said.

"People who drive at excessive speed on a public road need to be stopped and held to account for their actions before they take the life of an innocent member of the public."

Mr Carmody said the NZTA could gather information from roadsides by electronic equipment placed on top of the road, or in the road when it is built.

He said the data was sent to a receiving area, downloaded and then analysed. It was used for monitoring only and could not be used for enforcement.

"In conjunction with that we speak to one another and we've identified the problem that we believed needed increased enforcement in that area."

Whakatu Drive is now the focus of a campaign to lower the speed of drivers.

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