Neighbour Hood Support

The truth about Police speed enforcement

The strict enforcement of speed limits is resulting in a declining rate of death and injury from road crashes.

This approach is also supported by surveys by the Land Transport Safety Authority. 56% of drivers say they want more enforcement on the roads, 39% say they want it kept about the same, and only 3% want less.

Since the introduction in 2000 of Highway Patrols, and the zero tolerance approach to drivers travelling more than 10 km/h over the limit, the road toll has dropped from 462 that year to 403 in 2002 – the lowest in 40 years.

Longer term, the police are working towards a road toll of no more than 300 deaths by the year 2010.

Police funding is not affected by the revenue collected by Government as a result of fines imposed on speeding motorists, neither are other police duties compromised by the attention given to road safety.

Government funding for road policing is almost one quarter of all police funding. For this level of funding, the Government expects a reduction in death and injury on the roads. Police are also required to meet performance objectives, which includes a set number of contacts per hour with motorists. This ensures road policing is highly visible and effective.

Driving too fast for the conditions is the single biggest factor in fatal crashes, followed by drink driving and failure to wear seatbelts. All three are targeted by police in a "zero tolerance" approach.

A driver or passenger is twice as likely to die in a 120km/h crash as they are at 100km/h. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h has a 60% chance of being killed, which climbs to 90% if the speed increases to 60km/h, and at 70km/h only 4% will live.

Police operate a policy of general deterrence, which is based on the Victorian model and has been proven both in Victoria and New Zealand to minimise road trauma. General deterrence is based around four inter-twined principles of road policing, which are:

  • Highly visible
  • On-going
  • Strictly and consistently enforced
  • Highly publicised

Police will be keeping up the pressure on motorists, in order to keep more of them alive.

Download this fact sheet as a PDF (175 kB)

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