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Recruits Benefit from New Driver Training Facility

Police Recruits to Benefit from New Driver Training Facility
New Zealand Police National News Release
2:27pm 17 February 2006


From next week police recruits will be honing their driving skills on the latest in advanced driver training facilities.

Police Minister, the Hon. Annette King, will officially open a new vehicle management circuit at The Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua on Monday 20 February.

The opening will be held at dawn (from 6:00am) involving a blessing by local iwi Ngâti Toa Rangatira.

The vehicle management circuit has been in the pipeline for over four years and is modelled on the best in driver training facilities internationally, says NZ Police National Manager: Training and Professional Development, Superintendent Olly Beckett.

"As far as we're aware, it is without match in New Zealand. Primarily it will be used to teach recruits about skid avoidance and control. Until now this has been taught using a modified vehicle to simulate the experience. The new facility allows training to take place at a maximum speed of just 30kmh and in the same police vehicles they will drive on the job."

Skidding is caused by excessive speed into or out of a corner, sudden braking, harsh steering or changing direction too quickly.

The circuit is almost 'B' shaped providing a variety of corners and a straight section. The inside of the track is polished concrete to give a slippery surface and the outer circumference is rough-cast concrete similar to normal road conditions.

During their 19 weeks at the Police College, recruits spend nine days on intensive driver training to enable them to drive to a very high standard under pressure. Training covers risk management, hazard perception and awareness, skid management, advanced driving techniques, point duty at intersections and vehicle crashes, initial management at crash scenes, use of police communications while driving, vehicle stop tactics and tactical pursuit situations.

Recruits graduate with the NZ Police silver driver classification, which allows them to conduct all driving duties apart from pursuits, unless instructed to in exceptional circumstances.


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