Press Release – New Zealand Police
There are signs teenage drivers are getting the alcohol message – after positive results from a pre-Christmas alcohol blitz in Christchurch. More than 17,000 drivers were breath-tested last weekend as part of Operation Traction, a multi agency effort …Young drivers star performers in pre-Christmas alcohol blitz
There are signs teenage drivers are getting the alcohol message – after positive results from a pre-Christmas alcohol blitz in Christchurch.
More than 17,000 drivers were breath-tested last weekend as part of Operation Traction, a multi agency effort to keep Christchurch roads safe in the lead up to Christmas.
The operation was led by Christchurch Police supported by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the Ministry of Justice Collections Unit, the Christchurch City Council (CCC), and Students Against Drink Driving (SADD).
Canterbury Road Policing Manager Inspector Al Stewart says the operation was a success and police are pleased that the vast majority of drivers were sober and driving safe vehicles.
“We are particularly pleased that out of 17,468 drivers tested only one driver under 20 years old was caught in breach of the recently enacted zero-alcohol law. It looks like the message is getting through to the younger drivers, and the work of groups like SADD is really paying off,” says Inspector Stewart.
“Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for older drivers, with 62 caught over the limit. There is still a small number of people who don’t understand the dangers of driving drunk – Police will continue to target those high risk drivers and they can expect to be caught.”
Inspector Stewart says the highest excess breath alcohol reading recorded during the operation was 1102mgms – nearly three times the legal adult limit.
A total of 59 drivers had their licenses suspended for up to three months, for excess breath alcohol or excess demerit points.
Police also apprehended 21 disqualified drivers.
Of particular concern was the number of unsafe and defective vehicles, with 173 vehicles removed from the road.
“Many of the unsafe vehicles had issues that should have been noticed and remedied by drivers,” says Inspector Stewart. “NZTA officers found many of the unsafe vehicles had smooth tyres, some through to the canvas. I would urge all vehicle owners to have their vehicles checked, in particular their tyres, before going on any long journeys this Christmas.”
The Ministry of Justice Collections Unit was also kept busy during the operation with 18 vehicles seized and payment of outstanding fines made by 36 people
“Operation Traction was a great opportunity for Police to work closely with our road safety partners,” says Inspector Stewart. “Together we will continue to provide a more comprehensive approach to road safety and ensure our roads are increasingly free of fatal and serious injury crashes.
“There will be additional Police on Christchurch roads in the lead-up to Christmas. We will be running additional checkpoints and all drivers can expect to be breath tested. Drunk or disqualified drivers will be removed from the road. If an unsafe vehicle is being used, it will be removed from the road.
“Together we will do our best to make sure every journey is a safe journey and no family has to endure the tragedy of losing a loved one on our roads this Christmas.”