Police issuing more tickets to slow Auckland drivers

There are no set rules around ticketing slow drivers.
There are no set rules around ticketing slow drivers. Photo credit: Getty

Police are showing less tolerance for slow drivers on the road, if the number of tickets given out each year is anything to go by.

According to Stuff, last year tickets were given to 120 people for slow or inconsiderate driving, more than 20 percent above the yearly average of previous years of 98 tickets.

Despite the increase, police say issuing tickets is not usually their first option to deal with slow drivers. If they do take action it will often be "educational, rather than issuing an infringement notice," according to a police spokesperson.

The spokesperson says there are no set rules around ticketing slow drivers, with the decision being left to the discretion of the officer.

"If you are driving below the speed limit and have traffic building up behind you, pull over and let the other traffic pass when and where it is safe to do so."

AA's driver training general manager Roger Venn says slow drivers run a higher risk of being rear-ended by other cars. They also pose a risk for traffic going at a higher speed who are joining multi-lane highways. By impeding traffic behind them slow drivers also increase frustration for other motorists, which can often lead to people attempting risky overtakes.

Despite the danger of driving slowly in normal conditions, police stress there are times when it is safer to drive a little slower.

"Driving up to the speed limit is often not safe for road conditions at the time. As such, you should drive at a safe speed within the speed limit, rather than using the speed limit as a target."

If you end up stuck behind a slow driver the best thing to do is to just relax and refrain from taking risks, advises Mr Venn.

"When it is safe to do so, undertake a smooth and planned overtaking manoeuvre and return to the left once completed."

You should never tailgate the driver in front, he adds. 

Drivers who are ticketed for slow or inconsiderate driving will have to fork out $150 and/or lose 20 demerits points.