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Out of the mouths of babes come road safety messages

Out of the mouths of babes come road safety messages say Waikato Police

Friday, 5 September 2014 - 4:20pm


Out of the mouth of babes often comes wisdom is the message from Waikato Police reflecting on a week of atrocious driving on the Districts roads.

District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Freda Grace, said the call comes as the countdown to the weekend is nearly at an end.

"Last Friday we saw seven people processed for excess breath alcohol in Hamilton alone so we've set out to address that, varying our tactics to try and deter drunk driving.

"On Wednesday night these tactics proved effective thanks to a bit of help from the public but it doesn't reflect well on driver behaviour on Waikato roads. Following a call from concerned members of the public Police stopped a driver at the base of the Kaimai Ranges on SH29 who returned a breath alcohol result of 676mgms."

Mrs Grace said around the same time officers in Hamilton dealt with two other drivers who both returned breath alcohol results over 600mgms.

"Then a driver stopped for travelling at 100km/h in an 80km/h speed zone by the Te Rapa dairy factory returned a breath test result of 952mgms, the legal alcohol limit for a fully licensed driver is 400."

"Thursday night saw 1655 cars stopped by Police in Hamilton and of concern for us 50 drivers had been drinking though none exceeded the current legal alcohol limit, but that is still an awful lot. Things weren't so good over in the Eastern Waikato where one man was stopped between Paeroa and Thames and returned a breath test result of 662mgms."

Earlier in the day a suspended driver stopped driving on the Waikato Expressway had his car impounded for travelling at 170km/h on the Waikato Expressway.

"So speed as well as alcohol are real focus areas for us at the moment as they should be for the motoring public when you consider our road toll is currently 24 in the Waikato compared to 16 for the same period last year.

"To address this we've also been targeting speed around our schools all this week with some interesting results."

Mrs Grace said when a driver was stopped outside one Hamilton school on Monday travelling at 67km/h in a 40km/h school speed zone the driver had very little comeback when his pre-school aged daughter sitting in a car seat wound down her window.

"In a very polite voice she pointed out to our officer; "Excuse me Mr Policeman, my daddy always speeds." Unfortunately there was no record kept of what dad said next but what comes out of the mouths of babes can often be such wisdom.

"On a less humorous note Police stopped a driver travelling past a Cambridge school travelling at 71km/h while a teacher at a secondary school in the town learnt a valuable lesson when stopped and issued an infringement notice for driving at 66km/h."

Mrs Grace said such behaviour outside of schools simply couldn't and shouldn't be tolerated as it puts not only other drivers but vulnerable children at risk.

"We even had a woman travelling through a school zone on Tuesday afternoon travelling at a speed of 86km/h while on the way to the doctor's. Taking the time to calm her down our staff arranged so she could still be seen by the doctor as well as issuing her a ticket for her speed.

"Another driver passing Ohaupo Primary School on Tuesday told our officer he was distracted by his music which is why his speed was 95km/h in a 70km/h zone. Around the same time another man was stopped doing 91km/h outside a school in a 70km/h speed zone in Maramarua."

Mrs Grace said some of the drivers' excuses for excessive speed outside schools tested her officers' patience and tolerance.

"A real common excuse is it's not my car- what relevance is that to the speed you're travelling past a school? Another is they were distracted. How would you feel if you hit a child while you were talking on the phone?

"Drivers need to be aware that Police are changing our tactics to try and make Waikato roads safer by encouraging drivers to ensure they are compiling withy the rules. What is good to see is that at the same time other motorists are less tolerant of speeding or drunk drivers going by the number of driver complaint calls we are getting."


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