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# 177213 26-Jul-2015 17:18
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Recently I drove over 3000 km in the US. One thing that stood out to me was the number (or rather lack there of compared to NZ) of highway patrol vehicles.  We would have lucky to see one highway patrol per 500 km.  

I also noticed a similar thing in Australia last year where their police presence on the highways was far far lower than we have here.

Also while there were plenty of signs warning of radar speed traps we never saw any.  The norm seemed to be that 10 mph (16 kph) over the limit was quite acceptable, in fact unless you did that speed you were in danger of holding up the traffic flow.  Remember some limits were up to 75 mph (120 kph),

This all made me think about how things are here in New Zealand.  We certainly seem to be very highly policed on our roads here and our speed limits are very rigidly enforced compared to some other parts of the world. 

Are we being "over policed" on our roads? Could these rescouces be better utilised?








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  # 1352070 26-Jul-2015 17:33
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Given our accident rate, fatality rate and general very low standard of driving I would say no.




Mike
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  # 1352075 26-Jul-2015 17:43
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  # 1352078 26-Jul-2015 17:52
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I think it depends where in the country you are, probably the same for other countries too

Living in Central Otago, I hardly see any police on the roads.

We recently went a week long driving holiday around the South Island and driving 300-400 kms a day and we only saw one police car during the time ( we were playing a road bingo game and the lack of police cars didn't work in my favour). I often read stories online about the police being everywhere and too strict in the states

Probably best to get actual stats from all countries rather than rely on personal stories. However in my opinion we have a lack of police on NZ roads

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  # 1352084 26-Jul-2015 18:04
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freitasm:
MikeB4: Given our accident rate, fatality rate and general very low standard of driving I would say no.


Is this your opinion or do you have numbers for both US and NZ to compare?




some examples of accident rates per 100,000 vehicles

Australia 7.6
UK  6.2
Germany 6.9
Denmark  5.7
Finland   6.6
New Zealand 10.3
USA 13.6




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  # 1352087 26-Jul-2015 18:08
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New Zealand has  247 officers per 100,000 the US has 401 Australia 217




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  # 1352108 26-Jul-2015 19:20
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MikeB4: Given our accident rate, fatality rate and general very low standard of driving I would say no.

 

I would have thought our quality of roads per capita would be worse than overseas. You have some pretty extreme roads in NZ, a lack of medium barriers, and a lack of distance between ongoing lanes. In other countries you do see motorways for example with a great distance between the oncoming lanes, which you don't see in NZ, which leads to some pretty bad head on crashes in NZ.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1352123 26-Jul-2015 19:29
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I don't know about whether we are over-policed on the roads or not, but I do think that a fair proportion of what we do is wrongly targeted.

We (quite correctly) put a lot of focus on drunk driving and I agree with that - if anything I think there is scope to go even harder on this one, and also a need for drug-driving testing capability.

We put a massive amounts of effort into speeding, most of which has negligible safety benefit. Minor speeding (55kph in a 55 zone, 110 on a good motorway) has negligible risks. Rather than hammering people who drift a wee but over through looking at the road not the speedo all the time, and who are otherwise driving perfectly safely, I think they need to focus on people who are way over and driving dangerously. The tiny tolerances they run on holiday weekends are a tad silly, so are the revenue cameras they set up on safe bits of straight road with no real safety issues.

With the resources freed up from moving away from activities with a low safety gain, I would like to see them come down harder on:

 

  • Cars that are unregistered and not roadworthy. There's one that has been parking on our street that's rusty, and with a displayed rego and WoF that both expired in early 2013! I'm not talking about someone who has inadvertently let their rego expire a few days ago, but gross breaches where the car is likely not road-worthy and a menace to other road users - these should attract stiff penalties.
  • Red-light runners as these are a huge safety hazard - scrapping some revenue cameras and installing red-light cameras with the budget would seem sensible to me.
  • Silly motorist behavior at roundabouts, and cyclists who think the road rules don't apply to them - both of which I have witnessed nearly result in fatal consequences over the last few months.

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  # 1352127 26-Jul-2015 19:32
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JimmyH: I don't know about whether we are over-policed on the roads or not, but I do think that a fair proportion of what we do is wrongly targeted.

We (quite correctly) put a lot of focus on drunk driving and I agree with that - if anything I think there is scope to go even harder on this one, and also a need for drug-driving testing capability.

We put a massive amounts of effort into speeding, most of which has negligible safety benefit. Minor speeding (55kph in a 55 zone, 110 on a good motorway) has negligible risks. Rather than hammering people who drift a wee but over through looking at the road not the speedo all the time, and who are otherwise driving perfectly safely, I think they need to focus on people who are way over and driving dangerously. The tiny tolerances they run on holiday weekends are a tad silly, so are the revenue cameras they set up on safe bits of straight road with no real safety issues.

With the resources freed up from moving away from activities with a low safety gain, I would like to see them come down harder on:

 

  • Cars that are unregistered and not roadworthy. There's one that has been parking on our street that's rusty, and with a displayed rego and WoF that both expired in early 2013! I'm not talking about someone who has inadvertently let their rego expire a few days ago, but gross breaches where the car is likely not road-worthy and a menace to other road users - these should attract stiff penalties.
  • Red-light runners as these are a huge safety hazard - scrapping some revenue cameras and installing red-light cameras with the budget would seem sensible to me.
  • Silly motorist behavior at roundabouts, and cyclists who think the road rules don't apply to them - both of which I have witnessed nearly result in fatal consequences over the last few months.


I think age of the drivers is another consideration, and these drivers not driving to conditions. A lot of young drivers, especially in rural areas die ont he roads. Although that is probably partly the quality of the roads. Also the quality and the age of the cars on the road has a lot to do with it. Cars with ESP are supposedly a lot safer than those without it. This is where higher ACC premiums on older unsafe cars is a good idea, as long as they get it right.



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  # 1352130 26-Jul-2015 19:43
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MikeB4: New Zealand has  247 officers per 100,000 the US has 401 Australia 217


I'm talking about traffic policing not policing in general.  Your figures don't address that.




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  # 1352134 26-Jul-2015 19:48
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mattwnz:
MikeB4: Given our accident rate, fatality rate and general very low standard of driving I would say no.

I would have thought our quality of roads per capita would be worse than overseas. You have some pretty extreme roads in NZ, a lack of medium barriers, and a lack of distance between ongoing lanes. In other countries you do see motorways for example with a great distance between the oncoming lanes, which you don't see in NZ, which leads to some pretty bad head on crashes in NZ.


I was comparing like with like, basically motorways and free ways with median barriers separating each direction, where there are no or very few intersections. It seems to me there is a far higher density of traffic police on these roads in New Zealand, road which are inherently safer, than there is on other roads in New Zealand, or compared with similar motorways/freeways overseas.




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  # 1352137 26-Jul-2015 19:54
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JimmyH: I don't know about whether we are over-policed on the roads or not, but I do think that a fair proportion of what we do is wrongly targeted.

We (quite correctly) put a lot of focus on drunk driving and I agree with that - if anything I think there is scope to go even harder on this one, and also a need for drug-driving testing capability.

We put a massive amounts of effort into speeding, most of which has negligible safety benefit. Minor speeding (55kph in a 55 zone, 110 on a good motorway) has negligible risks. Rather than hammering people who drift a wee but over through looking at the road not the speedo all the time, and who are otherwise driving perfectly safely, I think they need to focus on people who are way over and driving dangerously. The tiny tolerances they run on holiday weekends are a tad silly, so are the revenue cameras they set up on safe bits of straight road with no real safety issues.

With the resources freed up from moving away from activities with a low safety gain, I would like to see them come down harder on:

 

  • Cars that are unregistered and not roadworthy. There's one that has been parking on our street that's rusty, and with a displayed rego and WoF that both expired in early 2013! I'm not talking about someone who has inadvertently let their rego expire a few days ago, but gross breaches where the car is likely not road-worthy and a menace to other road users - these should attract stiff penalties.
  • Red-light runners as these are a huge safety hazard - scrapping some revenue cameras and installing red-light cameras with the budget would seem sensible to me.
  • Silly motorist behavior at roundabouts, and cyclists who think the road rules don't apply to them - both of which I have witnessed nearly result in fatal consequences over the last few months.


 

  • Speeding may not cause a crash, but it does effect the seriousness of the outcome.  Basic physics.  It is also easy to detect and enforce so is a good return on investment for reducing trauma
  • Unregistered cars are nothing to do with safety.  It's a tax
  • Vehicle faults contribute to <2% of all fatal crashes
  • I agree with other things like red lights and roundabouts, people fail abysmally with some of the basics,  but again most fatalities are out on the highways (higher impact speeds)




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  # 1352138 26-Jul-2015 19:54
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Technofreak:
MikeB4: New Zealand has  247 officers per 100,000 the US has 401 Australia 217


I'm talking about traffic policing not policing in general.  Your figures don't address that.


The entire Force is involved with Road policing, however there is some dedicated highway patrols.




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  # 1352152 26-Jul-2015 20:26
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Technofreak:
mattwnz:
MikeB4: Given our accident rate, fatality rate and general very low standard of driving I would say no.

I would have thought our quality of roads per capita would be worse than overseas. You have some pretty extreme roads in NZ, a lack of medium barriers, and a lack of distance between ongoing lanes. In other countries you do see motorways for example with a great distance between the oncoming lanes, which you don't see in NZ, which leads to some pretty bad head on crashes in NZ.


I was comparing like with like, basically motorways and free ways with median barriers separating each direction, where there are no or very few intersections. It seems to me there is a far higher density of traffic police on these roads in New Zealand, road which are inherently safer, than there is on other roads in New Zealand, or compared with similar motorways/freeways overseas.


There's just not enough motorway/freeway in NZ to compare. NZ is mainly a country of winding rural roads and congested city streets.
I drove 100's of 1000's of Km's(miles) aross the US & Canada from the late 90's to 2010 or so. Most of the mileage racked up on Interstates.

I don't remember any shortage of Highway Police, but it depends very much on where, when & what you were driving. There were plenty of places - like I-80 in NV & WY, I-90 across MT or the Dakotas where you barely saw other cars, let alone the police.

And fair enough. It would take a lot of effort to come to grief on those roads, speeding or not.

 

Even our newest stretches of divided highway - the bits they're building between the Bombays and Cambridge - are more like decent secondary highway in the US than Interstates. Missing most of the safety features - such as wide medians, safe run off zones, crash barriers, impact absorbtion on bridge abutments and so on..

And on the busier and less well built freeways in the US you do see police. I don't think I ever Drove down I-5 through central California without seeing Police visibly parked in the central median and unmarked cars cruising with traffic.

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  # 1352157 26-Jul-2015 20:40
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Pretty sure we have an excess of these threads.

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