Indian Spokesman Correspondent
WELLINGTON: Police and NZTA have launched their joint road safety campaign – ‘We Want You Here for Christmas’.
It kicked off with an alcohol-focused harm prevention operation in Wellington last night, which pulled over around 3,000 vehicles over three hours.
Superintendent Steve Greally, National Road Policing Manager, says when people are driving they are operating a one tonne vehicle that has huge potential for harm. “People need to be aware and respectful of this. That means giving their driving their full attention, driving to the conditions, and not driving drunk or impaired in any way.
“Unfortunately last night we stopped nine people who were over the breath alcohol limit, two of whom registered over 400mg. These people were putting the lives of everybody else they were sharing the road with in danger. It’s really disappointing,” says Supt Greally.
NZTA senior manager Lisa Rossiter says there are already families who will be missing people at the Christmas table this year.
“Even one person over the limit is too many.”
Supt Greally says there were also about a dozen tickets given for a range of other reasons such as not wearing seatbelts – which is crazy when something so simple can save your life. “Unfortunately the operation also included one disqualified driver who thought it would be a good idea to break through the checkpoint and flee from Police, hitting an officer with his vehicle while he did so. Thankfully the officer is unharmed and the driver was later arrested at his home. He will face charges in Court on Tuesday.
“He was one of two drivers who decided to flee from the Police during the operation.
“This is not the behaviour we want to see on our roads.
“However, at the same time it was good to see people who were doing the right thing. And a lot of people were happy to see us out on the roadside and thanked us for being there and for keeping them safe.
“After all, that is what we are trying to do. We want everybody to be safe on our the roads.
“If everybody decided to act responsibly every time they got in a car we could see so many lives saved.
“I urge everybody to take on board the messages – wear your seatbelt, don’t go too fast for the conditions, put your phone away, and driver sober and alert. Because we want you here for Christmas.”