Bad driving comes at a very high cost.
Kiwi drivers are racking up millions of dollars in traffic fines each year according to Finder, a car insurance comparison site recently launched in New Zealand.
A Finder analysis of New Zealand Police data shows that Kiwi drivers committed more than 1.6 million traffic offences between March 2019 to March 2020, at a combined cost of $272 million equivalent to approximately $74 per person. (see table of fines and offences below)
The analysis revealed that speeding is the number one traffic offence in New Zealand, with over a million drivers caught out by a mobile speed camera (764,532), a static speed camera (34,988) or police officer (536,194).
Overall, the collective cost of these speeding offences totalled an eye-watering $241,738,450 during this period.
The area with the highest number of speeding offences is Canterbury Metro, with over 102,000 tickets issued from officers and mobile speed cameras from March 2019 to March 2020.
The area with the least number of fines is Auckland East, with just 6,198 tickets issued from March 2019 to March 2020.
Kevin McHugh, Finder's publisher in New Zealand, said that traffic offences can hurt the hip pocket in more ways than one.
"From speeding to using a mobile behind the wheel, many drivers will receive a traffic fine over the course of their life.
"Not only can dangerous driving put the life of yourself and others at risk, the associated fines can end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.
"A history of traffic infringements can also jack up the cost of your car insurance premium, as insurers will see you as a potential risk.
"You also risk having your cover voided if you lie about previous traffic convictions on your application," he said.
The Finder analysis also revealed that Kiwis were fined more than 90,000 times for not wearing a seat belt during March 201920, at a national cost of $12.8 million.
This was followed by failing to stop at a red light, with 42,000 fines issued at a combined cost of $8.6 million.
McHugh said that it's important drivers take out adequate cover.
"Even if you've never had a traffic infringement yourself, another driver may end up being the cause of an accident, and this can potentially leave you out of pocket."