1433 police officers fined for speeding
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Exclusive by Kelvin Bissett, Investigations Editor
December 15, 2008 12:00am
NEARLY four police officers a day were booked for breaking traffic laws including speeding while at work last year without any evidence they were responding to an emergency.
The massive 1433 fines incurred by lead-footed officers in police cars prompted strong criticism not only from road safety groups but also the NSW Police Force Commissioner for Professional Standards Paul Carey.
"If the number of fines incurred by police officers was just one, it would be of concern," Mr Carey said.
The high number of traffic fines issued to police vehicles - roughly one for every 10 officers - is an embarrassment in the lead up to the holiday safety blitz, codenamed Operation Safe Arrival.
The blitz on speeding and drink driving for the Christmas-New Year period is intended to keep the annual road toll at less than 400.
On 12 occasions no police officer owned up to being the driver of a vehicle that had been booked.
The figures revealed in documents obtained under Freedom of Information show even police officers are being caught by the state's ruthlessly effective fixed speed cameras.
Of the fines issued to police most - 1325 - were issued by fixed speed cameras, including school zone cameras.
The cameras doubled their fines revenue last financial year as they picked up a total of 677,839 drivers across NSW in the same period.
The officers themselves were required to pay the fines and lose demerit points, as does any other motorist caught breaking the law.
While most police were caught with only minor infringements, others such as leadfoot Senior Constable Andrew Robert Cumming, 32, did it to excess.
Cumming was banned from driving for a year for speeding in a police car at 202km/h on the F6 twice in January, 2006. There was no pursuit underway.
Cumming pleaded guilty to two counts of exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h - but remains on the force.