Eastern District Police are pleased with the behaviour of drivers in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay over the holiday period, following a road policing operation from 28 December to 2 January.
Sergeant Steve Murray says most drivers responded positively to the Police presence, even when deploying in areas where they weren’t expected.
“While the majority of people are doing a great job on the road, there are a small minority who aren’t,” Sergeant Murray says. “And unfortunately, it just takes one person to make a bad decision, or a mistake, to have life changing impacts on the road.”
During a 90-minute driver fatigue stop just north of Lake Tutira, in northern Hawke’s Bay, about 300 motorists were stopped, with most people travelling north for the holidays.
At this operation, one driver blew over the legal limit at 10.30am, believing he was sober enough from a drinking session the night before.
“People should never ever drive when impaired by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue. It’s your life on the line, and everybody else sharing the road with you.”
Other driver fatigue stops were undertaken at Nuhaka and Morere, with a full day spent on the three arterial routes in and out of Gisborne. The team also carried out drink/drive checkpoints at Mahia and in the Gisborne CBD area.
Over the six days, 2067 breath tests were conducted – an average of around 350 a day. This resulted in 14 drivers recording excess breath alcohol, with seven summonsed to court and seven issued infringement notices.
Sergeant Murray say many offenders in the “high range”, and most were recidivist drivers.
“The highest reading was 1034 micrograms/litre breath, which is really disappointing. But fortunately most drivers are doing the right thing on their journey.
“We are committed to ensuring that every road user arrives alive at their journey’s end and those who put others at risk will be found, prosecuted and held accountable.”
Sergeant Murray says the most important message Police want to convey is really simple: “don’t risk your life and that of others by driving while impaired in any way”.