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Hamilton Checkpoint Highlights Concerns

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Hamilton Checkpoint Highlights Concerns

3 March 2009 - If Police officers needed any justification for an early morning checkpoint set up in Hamilton today they got it minutes after packing up, when a cyclist collided with a car.

Members of the City's Strategic Traffic Unit established the hour long checkpoint on SH1/ Kahikatea Dr about 5.25am.

Sergeant Phil Ruddell said several things became rapidly apparent about driver attitudes in the City.

"They're far too blase', there were far too many drivers out their behind the wheel of unserviceable or non-compliant vehicles"

Mr Ruddell said cyclists were of particular concern with many riding in the dark with no front lights or reflectorized clothing.

"Those stopped were given a compliance letter requiring them to get a light fitted to their bike within 14 days but at the same time we also gave out free hi-vis vests and reflective pack/bag covers."

Disappointingly while officers were returning from the checkpoint a collision was reported between a cyclist and a car at the intersection of River rd and Te Aroha St.

The cyclist was treated at the scene by St John Ambulance staff.

Mr Ruddell said aside from cyclist visibility several other issues were identified.

"The very first vehicle stopped was a truck and trailer unit where the driver hadn't filled out his log book for several days.

"Then an officer stopped a 17-year-old woman who had tried to evade the checkpoint, she now faces fines of $855 for driving outside the restrictions of her learner licence and failing to produce that licence."

Police will be following up with one Hamilton Courier company after one of their drivers turned around and sped off from the checkpoint.

"Courier vans were identified as an area of concern with a number driving over the limit of their road user charges and one that had an expired registration.

"It is of particular concern that despite publicising yesterday we would have a high profile Police presence on our roads that on a number of occasions each of the 10 staff involved in the operation had vehicles pulled over due to their unroadworthy state," said Mr Ruddell.

Three drivers had a particularly bad starts to the day with one self employed man having his van confiscated and now facing court action.

"He's had no licence since 2004 and been operating a business since last year without one, he'd previously been caught in December 2007 but had still kept driving.

"Another man faces $1600 worth of fines for driving an unwarranted 4x4 without a licence while 12,000kms over his road user charges while a third faces a $1700 fine after he had his car pink stickered for driving a car with no warrant and registration while it was subject to a non-operational order and his licence had expired."

Mr Ruddell said drivers needed to be aware that they ran serious risks using unroadworthy vehicles and can expect to encounter Police any where- any time.

"Last year in the Waikato one person died in a homicide while 46 people died in road crashes, we have to take affirmative action to reduce road trauma in our District and drivers can expect to see more of this type of activity."

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