Million-dollar camera . . . The static speed camera south of Temuka has raked in millions from speeding fines in the last three years. PHOTO: HELEN HOLT

by Helen Holt

The Temuka speed camera continues to rake in the big bucks, with more than $3 million in fines issued in the last two years.

The static speed camera on State Highway 1 near Arowhenua snapped 13,875 vehicles driving over the speed limit last year, resulting in $1.54 million in fines. In 2019, the camera snapped 18,692 vehicles, for $1.84 million in fines.

Between January and June this year, the camera had already snapped 6270 vehicles, resulting in $623,110 in fines.

South Canterbury Road Safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude said he was surprised the camera had caught so many vehicles in 2021.

“I thought everyone knew about that camera. It’s not obscured in any way, and it’s hard to miss. Most GPS will warn people it is there.

“It goes to show people aren’t focusing on their driving.

“If you’re pinged from that camera, you can’t be concentrating on the speed limit.”

Mr Naude suspected the offending vehicles were mostly from out of town, or locals who were not concentrating on the speed limit.

A clear speed limit . . . The speed camera south of Temuka catches drivers speeding over the 80kmh speed limit, raking in fines

The 80kmh limit was about safety, he said.

“There’s been a lot of speed-related crashes in that area. Lots of activities, a school on your right, plus the bridges.

“If a crash happens, then the speed will add to the outcome. Speed determines the severity of the crash.”

Aoraki area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin shared Mr Naude’s bafflement over the camera’s numbers.

“I can’t believe anyone is still getting tickets from that camera,” he said. “Obviously people are going too fast.

“The speed camera fines aren’t about making money, it’s about safety and reducing the speed.

“It’s pretty clear the speed limit is 80; it’s not 86 or 90.”

The camera was installed in May 2018, and earned $1.5 million in less than 12 months.

The static speed camera on Oamaru’s Wansbeck St is another big earner, raking in $1.75million in fines in 2019 and $1.83million in 2020.