Big Brother will be watching you

by Lin Ferguson Speed camera surveillance is being ramped up in Wanganui with two new speed camera operators and a mobile unit being set up in April.
Central District headquarters senior sergeant Nick Dobson said yesterday that Wanganui was well overdue for a camera unit being domiciled in Wanganui.
"Mobile speed camera surveillance has always been shared out in Wanganui by operators from Palmerston North and Ohakune."
The two new mobile cameras are among 43 digital cameras being set up nationwide, he said.
Advertisements were already running for the two Wanganui operators and together with the 4-week training period at the Police College in Porirua, it was hoped surveillance operations in Wanganui would start as early as April, he said.

In the Central Police District over the 2007-08 financial year, $1.4 million was collected from speed camera fines in Wanganui, Manawatu, Palmerston North, Dannevirke and northern Wairarapa. Speeds caught on the cameras had ranged from 55km/h to 171km/h.
The top 10 speed camera sites in the Wanganui district were:
1 SH1.Hunterville north-south boundaries: 469 tickets issued. 2 SH1 Taihape Deviation: 203. 3 Somme Pde, Aramoho (Barrack Stewart St): 190. 4 SH4, Horopito Mangaturuturu: 145. 5 Miro St, Ohakune (Rimu- Ayr st): 139. 6 Goldfinch St Ohakune: 136. 7 SH1 Rata: 126. 8 Wellington Rd, Marton: 124. 9 SH4, Taumarunui: 120. 10 Racecourse,Wanganui (Purnell  Carlton St): 103.
Mr Dobson said that, overall, the number of speed camera tickets issued in the Central Police District had fallen compared to 2006-07.
The 12.544 tickets were issued from 17,732 photographs taken by speed cameras in the district.
"But it's not about revenue and the number of tickets issued; it's about keeping the fatality rate on our roads right down. It's about keeping our roads safe." There had been a change in driver behaviour over the past three years, he said.
"With increased police efforts on the roads, it's now making a difference, and this is the difference we will keep working on  the fewer deaths on our roads the better."
And that fall in the ticket numbers had also been a direct result of increased road safety operations, he said.
"It's always about upping the pressure on drivers, about sticking to the road rules, and this is as much about speeding as drink-driving."
Road Safety was always at the forefront of policing efforts, he said.
Even though fixed camera sites were not always armed with cameras, people were still extremely wary of being caught by them, he said. There was no set plan as to when the cameras were in place, he said.
With mobile cameras, we move them around as much as possible to spread them through the district."
Mobile coverage in many areas this year throughout New Zealand, including Wanganui, would be stepped up considerably, he said.
Mr Dobson said traffic enforcement meant you could never let up and never cut back on surveillance, because that's when drivers starting developing bad habits again  "the 40 deaths we had last year were 40 deaths too many".