Worth a ticket?

A reader emails:

Hi Cam

I recently got sprung doing 63kph in a 50kph zone here in the Far North. I asked the Police for a photo and they sent me this. I guess it’s a fair cop and I’ll pay up but is it a bit dodgy that the Police have their speed cameras pointed directly at the point where the speed limit reduces from 100kph to 50kph? Any criminal lawyers out there with an opinion on this?


Personally I think he deserves a ticket for driving a Ford.

However from the angle it would appear that he hasn’t even crossed over into the 50kmh zone. I think this could be an interesting case.


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  • coventry

    Contest it, clearly the car is not in the 50K zone, unless the section they were in was already a 50 area ?

  • DairyMan

    You have a grace period of 250 metres to slow down when entering a slower zone from a faster zone. As you are only doing 63km/h it is obvious that you were decellerating way before the sign and the ticket is illegal.

    • Kendall

      Bullshit. No pun intended. Read the rule book again.

      • Gobe1

        yeah that is a urban legend i think

      • DairyMan

        “When enforcement is undertaken in an area where drivers are making a transition from a higher speed to a lower speed area, vehicles are not targeted within 250 metres from the point where the posted speed changes.”


        • Kendall

          So which document constitutes the law, the police SOP for targeting, which is now not followed, or the road code?

          I accept that your statement is correct, from the above link. But my new question needs to be answered.

          • Orange

            The road code is clear and that is the legal document.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Not sure but some time ago in the MOT days, a MP got pulled up in similar circumstances and used that excuse of slowing down. He got a lecture from the officer about how as a MP he should be setting a better example. A few years latter he was Minister of Transport and I believe the guideline was put in place, that may have been dropped with the merger with Police.

      That aside it this, bullshit, does nothing for road safety, people are still maimed and killed on our roads, it as the song goes is all about the money, money, money.

  • Time For Accountability
  • unsol

    It may be worth a ticket, but definitely not fair play if this is an example of more than 50km being reduced down to 50km. There is something like a 20-100m grace area (up to the second sign perhaps) which the police have at their discretion. That said I don’t know what the rules are re speed cameras.

    In terms of the reverse though – so going from 50km to more than 50k, there is no discretion, no leniency. You must abide by the speed until passed the sign. The theory being it is easier to speed up than slow down.

  • johnbronkhorst

    If this photo is their evidence, then they are clearly wrong. You are, at the instant of this photo, still in the 100Km zone. Unless there is a sign further back!

  • Time For Accountability

    The angle appears dodgy alright except that there are no brake lights.
    The sign is very visible.

    I agree – deserves a ticket for driving a ford.

    They are known to be unsafe braking and cornering in the vanilla models as shown.
    Their later and better models are vastly improved.

    Fight the ticket and see if they provide evidence it is a road. They often forget that stepbefore resting their case in which case there is a fatal flaw that will get you off.

  • tarkwin

    They took the photo because they’ve never seen such a late model car up this way!

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    I say yes suck it up and pay the fine. I was stopped at the end of a passing lane last week and issued a ticket for doing 121km as I wanted to get past a large truck that I was just catching up to. Cost me $170. I complained that it was unfair that the cop was targeting passing traffic at the end of a passing lane. But got nothing from the cop, except “121 is a bit fast”. All civil, but a little embarrassing as the whole family were with me. All in all, fair enough.

  • peterwn

    If there is a real road safety issue, then the 50kph signage should be reviewed. In fact any instance where a speed camera is raking it in, the overall situation should be reviewed. For example if people are tending to go too fast down hill, then there should be some warning mechanism eg a flashing speed indicator sign, etc.

    A good ‘preventative’ example was a very large 30MPH sign that was stuck in the middle of the Great South Road just north of the Harp of Erin many years ago. The motorway then finished just south of there and the sign reminded drivers they were no longer on a motorway. If anyone got copped by a speed trap north of there they only had themselves to blame.

  • Mark72

    If that is Awanui, the first 50 km sign is about 750m away from that one. That is a reminder sign, you’ve been in 50 km zone for a while, no defense sorry

    • johnbronkhorst

      Scotches my theory!

    • anonymouse

      Looks like Awanui


      The tall trees have been cut down since the google street view shot in 2010, but dollars to donuts this is where the photo was taken,

      Its not a transition from 100 to 50 its a 50km reminder, both sides of the sign are 50km,

      The OP has been rightfully banged to rights

      • MarkF

        Anonymouse & Mark72 you are correct. The 50km area starts at Spains Road 770m before this sign.

        • tarkwin

          Spains road is a very nice area – should have turned off there. I travel through this area all the time, and it is one of the best sign posted parts of Northland – though I hate to admit it.

  • boristhefrog

    yeah… gets a ticket for driving a Ford

    • Mr_Blobby

      It looks like the sort of car your girlfriend from kiwi blog would be driving.

      • Time For Accountability

        Down in Southland the ladies use Shelby Mustangs as there shopping trolley. Fords are no longer considered masculine in that area.

        Drive trough Winton or past supermarket carparks and you will see this.

        Real Blokes down there drive muscle trucks not cars.

  • philbest

    This is abuse of the letter of the law, blatantly obvious revenue gathering, and will cost the police and the government dearly in lost respect from the citizenry.

    I experienced an obvious deliberate entrapment situation in Blenheim a few years ago. The authorities obviously slapped a 50km/h designation on a section of main road leading into Blenheim from the South, because it had been zoned residential, even though no houses had even been built on it yet. I had driven out to that main road from within the nearest suburb, and proceeded to turn North onto it from a side road.

    Now, I understand in hindsight, that I had not gone past an open road sign anywhere. I had been driving on 50km/h streets, I came along a “new subdivision” street, and turned back out onto what had been for years, and still appeared to be, open road, to head back into Blenheim central. Unknown to me, there was a 50 km/h sign a bit further South along that “open road”. If you were coming in along that road, you would see the sign, go “WTF”??? but reduce your speed, grumbling as you did so.

    But when you come out on a side road, you don’t see that; and neither do you notice the absence of an open road sign anywhere you have just been. But you are driving past open fields, albeit with new roads laid out on them, and come gradually into civilisation again, past a trucking depot, a cemetery, and other non-residential stuff.

    I very much doubt I was just a random pick-up by a patrol car lurking in concealment that evening. I would bet that that was their favourite quota-meeting, revenue-gathering stretch of road.

    Like I say: do I respect the cops and the government less after this sort of behaviour? You bet.

  • boyo

    This happened to an aussies over here visiting some of our plants.He was driving down from ChCh airport to Timaru when he got snapped and received a ticket,he couldn’t believe there was no leeway and swore if this had happened over there he would have fought it

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    They have to give you a ticket, the vending machine in the ministry of womens’ affairs is due to be re-stocked. That money’s got to come from somewhere.

  • jagilby

    Clearly you’re right on the sign, debateable whether you have passed it or not.

    A central question is, what is the reaction time of the camera – when it actually clocked you, say 0.5s earlier, at 60kmph you would have been 8m further back. You could well have been behind the sign when you were clocked by the radar.

  • Randy Campbell

    Vehicle must have slowed to 50kmh before reaching the 50kmh sign. That is the rule. Bloody cheeky of the cops though.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    It’s a TAX, if you want to go fast then you pay the TAX

  • Mr_V4

    This is Whaleoil, he’ll probably do you for an alleged parking indiscretion as well.