NZTA speeding 'simply unacceptable' - CEO

(file)
(file)

By 3 News online staff

The boss of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has been forced to admit his staff are speeding too often in work vehicles.

It comes as newly released GPS data shows 8500 cases of speeding over the past nine months.

Data released by the agency this afternoon shows a significant number of staff have exceeded 100km/h limit with some workers going as fast as 145km/h.

NZTA chief executive Geoff Dangerfield condemned the findings.

"That would be a serious concern for any employer, but it is simply unacceptable for an organisation like ours with a mandate to promote road safety and safer speeds," he says.

"We need to ensure that our people go home safe and well every day, and when it comes to safe driving we need to lead by example and hold ourselves to the highest standard."

He says the drivers have been spoken to but it's not suitable evidence to turn over to the police.

"They are putting themselves and other motorists in danger and we say that's totally unacceptable."

However none of the drivers have lost their jobs.

The data was provided to the New Zealand Herald following an Official Information Act request and later published openly by the agency, which has committed to publishing an update every six months.

The Herald reported the cases involved a member of senior leadership and several managers. Not one of the thousands of cases would result in a speeding ticket.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the data is "embarrassing".

"To say I'm embarrassed would be an understatement of the year."

Mr Dangerfield stressed his staff had travelled more than 1.76 million kilometres between October 2014 and June 2015, and more than 50 percent of the recorded instances of speeding involved minor transgressions at 101km/h and 102km/h.

Overall around 0.5 percent of the cases involved speeds of over 120km/h and 4.3 percent involved cases of over 110km/h.

"We are making sure that every one of our people clearly understands our expectations in this area, and we are also committed to providing the right environment to allow our people to look after their own safety behind the wheel," he says.

"That includes setting realistic work schedules and allowing adequate time for people to travel between different locations for work, providing opportunities for driver training, and providing our people with safe and well-maintained vehicles."

Mr Dangerfield promised his team would begin to "lead by example" and be accountable for their actions, but did not explain how he planned to discipline staff.

3 News