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Crash that injures two underage drivers prompts warning

Crash that injures two underage drivers prompts warning from Waikato Police

Waikato Police are urging parents to reconsider their children's access to motor vehicles after a crash on Monday left two underage drivers requiring hospital treatment.

District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Marcus Lynam, said Police had already been called by a concerned member of the public before Monday's crash on Te Kowhai Rd which happened about 12.30pm.

"A member of the public had phoned 111 concerned about the driver of a blue Ford Falcon who had nearly hit her and said the driver couldn't see over the steering wheel.

"Then, a short time later this vehicle collided head-on with a Nissan Bluebird coming out of a driveway.
Both cars were extensively damaged and the 12-year-old girl driving the Ford suffered minor internal injuries while her 14-year-old sister driving the Ford suffered a fractured wrist."

Both girls were taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance while Police worked out just what the two girls were doing behind the wheels of the two cars.

"It appears the younger girl has taken the Ford car for a drive and when her older sister became concerned about where she was, the 14-year-old has jumped into the Nissan to go in search of her. The two cars have subsequently collided at the entrance to the driveway.

"In this case we are very fortunate that no one was seriously injured but the poor member of the public who had already rung 111 concerned about the 12-year-old's driving was understandably distraught when she saw what happened."

Mr Lynam said with the Waikato's 2012 road toll of 45 being the highest in the country Police could not and will not take such matters lightly and he urged other motorists and vehicle owners to take road safety seriously as well.

"Last January six people died in five fatal crashes on Waikato roads and making our District's roads safe is not just the Police's job but the responsibility of the whole community.

"The reason we have graduated driver licences is because young people simply don't have the cognitive skills or ability to react to situations that can arise on our roads at any time. For this reason we ask that parents re-evaluate their children's access to vehicles and ask that they discuss the risks with them, its all about preventing incidents such as Monday's from happening in the first place."

Mr Lynam said it was too early to say what, if any, charges the two girls may face but Police would be consulting with Youth Aid in terms of a suitable outcome.


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