Figures from police show how much Nelsonians have paid out in fines.

Nelson’s fines top $1 million

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Nelsonians forked out a whopping $1.6 million in speeding fines last year, the most since 2013.

The figures released by New Zealand Police show more than 24,000 speeding tickets were issued in Nelson Bays during 2019, from a combination of mobile speed cameras and officer issued infringements.

Almost 19,000 of the tickets came from mobile speed cameras strategically placed around the region.

The large figure is the most we have paid out since 2013, when the figure sat just over $1.7 million.

Just over the hill in Marlborough, drivers were issued just $737,000 of speeding fines throughout the year, half as much as Nelson.

Nationally, drivers copped more than $115 million in speeding fines during 2019.

As well as being hit in the pocket for speeding, Nelsonians also racked up more than $268,000 in road-related fines for not wearing seatbelts, using mobile phones while driving and running red lights.

Tasman road policing manager senior sergeant Grant Andrews says it’s extremely disappointing to see the figures rising.

“It’s just really poor,” he says.

“We’d love to go out there and not issue anyone a ticket, it would be great, but the reality is people are just getting worse, particularly with using their phones.”

In 2019, 977 infringements were given to drivers for using their mobiles, up from 555 the previous year.

Grant says if drivers’ attitudes don’t change, the numbers will again increase again this year.

“These are the things that cause people injuries; not wearing restraints, using mobiles, driving while impaired and speeding.

“We will be doing weekly operations to make sure these people are held to account. We would like to mount these operations and have a negative result, that would be fantastic.”

Grant says it’s not just about the person using their phone or speeding.

“It’s about the people they are putting at risk and the life-changing injuries that they can inflict on the pedestrians or the other road users.”