In New Zealand, the police use the following speed measurement devices:
Dash Mounted radar (aka moving radar) set up in police cars:
The first dash-mounted radars used in NZ was the Hawk K-band 24.150GHz radars manufactured by Kustom Signals Inc in the USA. These units can be used in stationary and moving mode, and can be used in "instant on" mode or "constant on" mode.
The majority of the dash-mounted (moving) radar now days in NZ is Ka-band. The Silver Eagle by Kustom Signals Inc has new DSP software and a new antenna design, allowing the operator to monitor not only the strongest signal but also the fastest same direction speed.
The deadly Stalker also operates on Ka-band, manufactured in the USA and like the Kustom Eagle, can display both the strongest and fastest targets simultaneously. The Stalker DSR can monitor faster vehicles passing larger vehicles and display the speed of both targets simultaneously.
Hand-held laser (aka lidar):
The first laser gun to be used in New Zealand was the LTI 20-20 Marksman. Laser operates using light pulses (as opposed to RF or microware energy like radar) and due to the small diameter of the laser beam, is an excellent "pointing tool" for targeting individual cars in heavy traffic. The LTi operates at a frequency 904nm, and although an older model, is still operational in NZ
The latest Lidar gun used in New Zealand is the LTI Ultralyte 100LR speed laser (lidar) gun. It is thought the LTI Ultralyte 100 LR used in New Zealand is the 100pps (pulses per second) model displaying speed and distance in km/h and km respectively. The LTI Ultralyte 100LR also operates at a frequency of 904nm, and as per all speed lidar guns, has an extremely narrow divergence of the radar beam, as well as able to acquire a vehicle's speed in less than one second.
Mobile Speed Cameras:
Photo radar has been used in Australia for around 7-8 years, and in 1993, the New Zealand police decided to follow the Australian's lead (as they slavishly do in all policy matters) and introduce it into New Zealand. They bought around 30 of Autopatrol PR100 cameras, which are a mobile Ka band unit operating on 34.6GHz ± 150MHz at a lower power rating around 0.2 - 0.5 watts. These are usually mounted in the back of a Toyota Camery station wagon, but can also be mounted on a tripod, away from the vehicle. They are set up at an angle of precisely 22.5 degrees to the road, and they use a laser to set up this angle.
Fixed Speed Cameras:
The fixed speed cameras in NZ are the Autopatrol SP200 which are a fixed, pole mounted camera connected to sensors built into the road that measure your speed. There are about 70 "boxes" but only about 14 actual cameras, which are rotated around these sites. A vehicle crosses the first sensor strip, alerting the camera system to the vehicle's presence. The presence detection loop serves as a check to ensure that a vehicle is actually passing between two strips. As the vehicle passes the second sensor strip, a measurement of the vehicle's speed is taken. If the vehicle is traveling faster than the speed limit, a photograph is taken.
The assumption being made here, is that the speed measuring equipment is being used according to the manufacturer's guidelines (see below).
Download the New Zealand Speed Camera Program
Download the New Zealand mobile Speed Camera guidelines
Download the New Zealand fixed Speed Camera guidelines
Photo radar - the New Zealand experience (source)
The cost of buying the cameras and setting them up was $NZ17 million (around $US10 million) and in the first year of operation, they brought in $NZ23 million ( $US16 million) - a return on investment the mafia would be proud of. Each year since, they have averaged $23-25 million each year, with running costs of around $NZ10 million ($US 6 million). I am not 100% sure of the running costs figure, but I believe it is correct. I don't believe it would be any higher.
There are a few interesting points:
when they were introduced, the police and politicians said that it was not to be a money making venture, rather it was to increase road safety. To this end, one must ask why all the funds collected go into the consolidated fund, rather than driver safety and education? Despite election promises to the contrary, this has not changed, and has been quietly forgotten about.
In order to ease the introduction, it was stated policy that the cameras would not be hidden, but must be visible from 50m away. This is not as generous as it sounds, since it takes your picture at a 22.5 degree angle across the road, or around 25m away from the car. This gives you just enough time to put on a big smile as the robot says "cheese". It has also been observed in the breach in many occasions, as cars are hidden by trees, etc. As is typical of politicians promises, this has now been broken. They are "trialling" hidden camera deployment, with the aim of making it nationwide. Currently there are demerit points on your license for each ticket issued by an ordinary cop, but not with camera tickets. I am willing to wager that this will change within the next 2 years. Similarly, they are (supposed) to be used only in areas designated as speed camera zones, with signs to war motorists. Again, this has often not been the case (but the ticket is still valid, with or without the sign) and there are moves to remove this condition as well.
At the time of introduction, a law was passed through Parliament saying that the registered owner of the vehicle was responsible for all tickets issued to the vehicle. Yup, if the police say you are guilty, then it must be so, unless you can point to someone else. Can't do that? To bad, pay the Man on the way out. Where were the cries of civil liberties groups, who are usually so vocal in cases of "guilty until proven innocent"? They were astonishingly quiet, possibly do to the "crime" becoming not politically correct thanks to a multi million dollar ad campaign supporting the introduction of speed cameras at the time. Proving yourself innocent is impossible, as there is no officer to put on the witness stand to cross examine, and unless you can name the driver, you end up wearing it anyway. Although the cameras are smart, they are not infallible, e.g. they require setting up so that the beam angle runs across the line of traffic at 22.5 degrees. If this is not done, then the resulting speed reading will be wrong. Try proving that it wasn't done correctly, 3 weeks after the fact
10 speed cameras churn out 60,000 fines
Simple! - "Don't speed" - I hear echo amongst the narrow minded. That's fine, and we agree whole heartedly, but "Don't speed and you won't have to pay a fine" assumes three very important things:
"Speed cameras play an important role in detecting speeding motorists and I think everybody would love to think the cameras play a good deterrent role. But the problem is you have to have confidence that they work properly and if they don't than the public will lose confidence in them and they'll lose their deterrent value."
So what happens when you are driving down the road, sitting on 80km/h (according to your speedometer) in an 80km/h stretch of road, but you cop a speeding fine?
Dash Mounted radar (aka moving radar) set up in police cars:
The Hawk, and the Silver and Golden Eagle dash mounted radars are manufactured by Kustom Signals Inc in the USA. When transmitting in "constant on" you will be able to detect the long-range radar beam with any reasonable radar detector. The Valentine One is the best radar detector at detecting K-band dash-mounted radar, and is equal
in performance with the Bel STi driver and detecting Ka-band dash-mounted radar. The Stalker Dual radar is a deadly unit, manufactured by Stalker Radar from the USA. If you are the only vehicle on the road and you're targeted with "instant on" your toast! Most NZ police support the use of radar detectors as they keep the driver alert and mindful of their speeds.
At this point, some people have asked the question about radar jamming.
Your most important question
in purchasing a so-called radar jammer should be "does it work?"
Phantom, Phantom II, Phaser or Phazar, the Phantom III and The Black Widow.
Hand-held laser (aka lidar):
Laser guns are another "deadly" device in that they can calculate your speed in less than a second. Although most radar detectors include a laser sensor, they usually offer little more than a "ticket notifier" when they go off. Having said that, there ARE circumstances where a laser (detector) can and has, provided adequate warning...although these are few and far times in between. Click on the video below and to the left (allow pop-ups) to watch just how quickly a laser acquires a vehicle's speed.
So what is the best defenses against laser? Well, as far as a detector goes, the best at detecting laser is the Valentine One. Granted we just finished convincing you a detector is useless against laser, but the Valentine One, will give you the chance of detecting "off-axis" laser from the car in front of you being targeted. For proof that the Valentine is the best unit at detecting laser, you can read Bob's (The Veilguy) Laser Detector test:
But as mentioned above,ve, just detecting the laser won't be enough. The most cost effective solution is with the use of Veil anti-laser paint. Veil will give you additional seconds warning time when used in conjunction with a good laser detector. You can read more about Veil in our laser jammers section
The ultimate defense against laser is by the use of an active laser jammer. Unlike most active radar jammers, active laser jammers do work. An active laser jammer will prevent a speed being displayed for a brief time whilst you adjust your speed if necessary. The best laser jammers for the LTI Ultralyte according to the Guys Of Lidar 2007 test are the Laser Interceptor and the Blinder. The Laser Pro-park finished fifth against these laser guns.
Fixed Speed Cameras:
The best product for alerting to a fixed speed and red light cameras is a GPS device that stores these locations in a database. Many GPS manufacturers offer products that add this service (called "point of interest") to their navigation products. Both radar detectors and GPS based devices are perfectly legal to own and operate in New Zealand at the time of writing.
How does each radar detector perform detecting NZ radars, lasers & cameras?
You can read the detailed test reports in our reviews section, but against all New Zealand threats, the Valentine One in combination with Veil anti-laser paint or the Blinder M-20 Laser Jammer is the best combination for protection against all current radar, laser and speed cameras.
A NavAlert GPS based device is also recommended for alerting you to New Zealand's fixed and red light cameras. The NavAlert GPS system stores all New Zealand's ixed speed cameras & Red Light cameras in its database, which is kept up-to-date via the internet. Simply plug your NavAlert unit into the USB port, and upload the database each time new cameras are installed in New Zealand.
As you approach a fixed speed or red light camera, the NavAlert alerts you if you are driving over the posted speed limit, whilst displaying your real-time speed on its screen. When you drop below the posted speed limit, the NavAlert automatically mutes itself!
As well as fixed speed camera sites, the NavAlert can warn you as you approach a school zone on a weekday. A voice alert will prompt your attention as you approach the school zone, and silence as you pass through it.
The NavAlert can store 150,000 separate points of interest.
The NavAlert is easy to install. In the box there is a small rubberized magnet, with a peel off sticky base. The user simply has to remove the sticker cover, and position the magnet on the top of their dashboard. Insert the power jack into the cigar lighter, and plug the other end of the lead into the NavAlert unit, then place on top of the magnet. It is now ready to use.
In New Zealand there are NO laws banning the use of a radar detector, however you may be fined for obstructing your windscreen if you have it mounted in the middle of the windshield.
Because there are no anti-detector laws, there are no police Radar Detector Detectors (RDD's) used in NZ
What are the Speeding Fines for New Zealand? (source)
If you are
caught exceeding the speed limit by up to 10Km/h $30.00.00
is the Valentine One - Why?
Combining the Valentine One available in either the windscreen mounting model, or the V1 hidden remote version, with Veil anti-laser paint offers the great protection against New Zealand police radar, laser and speed cameras. For the best protection, we'd recommend combining the Valentine One with the Blinder M-20 Laser Jammer.
We also recommend the NavAlert system, as it can save money and save lives. NavAlert will alert you to New Zealand's fixed speed cameras, red light cameras and school zones, with over speed warnings, voice alerts and your current speed displayed on the front screen. Available soon!