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Hamilton Police urge caution after road safety hit for six

Hamilton Police urge caution after road safety hit for six


As dawn breaks on a wet Waikato morning, Hamilton Police reviewing a series
of crashes are urging drivers to keep their wits about them and drive to the
conditions.

Sergeant Phil Ruddell of the Hamilton Strategic Traffic Unit said one of the
most frustrating aspects linking all six of yesterday's crashes is each was
avoidable.

"From about 5am emergency services became quite busy with the first call
coming in on Sandwich Rd where a car had hit a power-pole. By the time Police
arrived the driver had fled but three hours later an ambulance was called to
an address 100m down the road.

"A woman was treated at the home and processed for excess breath alcohol by
Police, returning a breath alcohol reading of 791mgms."

Then about 6am Police and ambulance staff attended an incident where a
cyclist riding with no light was hit by a car on Bridge St where the cyclist
suffered minor injuries. At the same time other officers attended a two
vehicle collision at Tauwhare.

"The driver of a utility involved told us he dropped his cigarette on the
floor and when he bent down to get it and looked up he found himself on the
wrong side of the road with an oncoming truck.

"Already in the right hand lane he pulled further to the right and both
vehicles collided with each other on their left sides, because of a dropped
smoke this driver escaped death or serious injury by about a metre."

After three early morning crashes first responders could be forgiven for
wanting a break but it wasn't to be with another collision occurring at
6.30am at a busy Hamilton intersection.

"This T-bone collision happened at the intersection of Te Rapa and Pukete
Roads about 6.30am involved two cars and is still under investigation.

"Police are working to establish which of the two cars, which were both
written off, ran a red light before the cars collided, both drivers were
taken to Waikato Hospital with minor to moderate injuries and we believe air
bags in one car certainly prevented one driver suffering more serious harm."

The next two crashes involved overseas drivers with the first happening on
the Dinsdale roundabout at 8am where a 65-year-old tourist became confused
with the road rules in New Zealand dealing with multi-lane roundabouts
resulting in two cars suffering moderate damage.

"The second involved a nose to tail collision on Grey St when a mother became
distracted by a child in the back seat of her car and she looked around- and
collided with the car in front.

"As weather conditions deteriorate drivers need to be on the top of their
game and maintain their situational awareness. Some of yesterday's crashes
occurred for very silly things and none involved speed."

Mr Ruddell said motorists operate in a very narrow lane of safety out on the
roads and in wet conditions this lane narrows considerably.
"This is why we're urging drivers to adopt a cautious approach, its better to
arrive a few minutes later than not at all and in a number of incidents
drivers escaped serious injury or death by the narrowest of margins."

End

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