Cops ticket 6000 speeders

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A NEW speed camera car on Queenstown roads is behind a staggering increase in the number of people pinged for speeding, cops say.

Police figures reveal the number of speeding tickets dished out in Queenstown skyrocketed 48 per cent between 2015 and 2017.

Police issued 1632 in 2015, and 2423 last year.

More than 6000 speeding tickets were issued in total over the three years.

The resort has the second highest number of tickets issued in the Otago Lakes area, runner-up only to Cromwell, which had 8594.

Police wouldn’t release the highest speed recorded in the area, saying it could “trivialise or sensationalise” high speeds and possibly lead to copycats.

But they did say across the region, 54 people were pinged travelling at speeds that automatically see them lose their licence.

That was up from 35 in 2016.

Licences are suspended if someone is caught at more than 40kmh over the speed limit.

Local road policing boss senior sergeant Glenn Wilkinson says a new speed camera car introduced in mid-2016 is behind the boom.

The car is deployed around the Central Lakes area to high risk spots, such as state highways and near schools, he says.

While the camera car is clearly nabbing more speeders, Wilkinson is hoping for a longer term change in driving behaviour.

“If you get someone on the radar speeding and you turn around and pull them over, it’s immediate. With cameras there’s a delay, the fine comes in the mail.

“But hopefully people will look at that and think ‘I don’t want to waste my money on a ticket’.

“You’re kind of hoping you can change people’s long term behaviour, which has got to be a good thing.”

Increased tourist numbers means more cars on the road, which also could be a factor in the number of people pinged, Wilkinson says.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz