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NZ Police: Some drivers risking not being here for Christmas

Monday, December 04, 2017

Update: 7:55PM NEW Zealand Police and the New Zealand Transport Agency 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 on Saturday night, which pulled over around 3000 vehicles over three hours.

National Road Policing Manager Superintendent Steve Greally said when people were driving, they were operating a one-tonne vehicle that had 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," Mr Greally said.

Unfortunately, he said on Saturday, they 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," he said.

NZTA senior manager Lisa Rossiter said there were already families who would be missing people at the Christmas table this year.

"Even one person over the limit is too many," Ms Rossiter said.

Mr Greally said 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."

Mr Greally said if everybody decided to act responsibly every time they got in a car, so many lives could be 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 drive sober and alert. Because we want you here for Christmas."

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