Nelson Police handed out more than a million dollars in speeding fined during the first nine months of 2020. Photo: NZ Herald.

Nelson forks out $1m in fines

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Nelson Police handed out more than a million dollars in speeding fines in the region during the first nine months of 2020.

New police data shows that between January and September 2020, a total of 14,639 speeding tickets, or $1,062,320 worth, were dished out to drivers in Nelson Bays from a combination of police officers and mobile speed cameras.

Officers handed out just under 5000 tickets totalling more than $535,000. This was up 1300 tickets from 2019 when they issued 3573 during the same period – despite the country being in Level 4 lockdown for a month.

Tasman road policing team leader, Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews, says he’s not surprised officers have issued more tickets for speeding.

“Speeding has been a huge issue for us, our tolerance is probably less than it was which could be part of the reason the infringements have increased.”

Grant says people are just not getting the message to drive to the speed limit.

“They seem to feel that they have an 11km tolerance over the limit as a right, but they don’t. We would’ve given out more around that 11-15km-over range, I’d say.

“One officer recently suspended three drivers in one day because they were going more than 40km over the speed limit.”

Speed cameras placed around the region detected more than 518,000 vehicles crossing their path, with almost 3 per cent of those being issued an infringement for speeding.

Road users were also reprimanded for their use of mobile phones and failure to use seatbelts, with 901 tickets issued for mobile phone use and 843 for not wearing a restraint during the nine-month period.

Grant says cellphone use while driving will continue to be a weekly focus for road policing staff.

“We still get in excess of 30 drivers in the space of an hour and a half who are calling, texting and using social media, it astounds me.

“We would much rather have a day when we don’t issue any infringements, we just want to see people getting to their destination safely and spending time with their friends and family.”