Thursday, 11 December 2003 - 1:38pm |
National News

Drink Driving campaigns strengthened in lower North Island

1 min read

Wellington and Central Police Districts are joining forces to target drink driving in at risk areas during the Christmas and summer holiday period.

The Traffic Alcohol Groups from both police districts will work together on some operations to send motorists a strong message that drinking and driving do not mix.

Inspector Allan Boreham, Wellington District Road Policing Manager, says the six-week initiative will provide a greater police presence at traffic alcohol checkpoints in the cities, rural areas and holiday spots -- particularly in overlapping border areas. Wellington District meets Central District at Peka Peka on the Kapiti Coast and Mt Bruce in the Wairarapa.

"Joining forces for some checkpoints will effectively double the police presence and seal off ‘escape’ routes for motorists keen to avoid us," Inspector Boreham says.

"Two booze buses in one operation will be highly visible and gives us greater flexibility to target at risk areas. Our objective is to encourage people to make alternative transport arrangements if they’re going to be drinking alcohol.

"We need to reduce alcohol fuelled crashes," he says. "More than one in 10 fatal crashes in the Wellington District involve alcohol. In the Wairarapa alone, four out of the 11 fatals this year have alcohol as a factor. That’s unacceptable and we need to turn attitudes around.

"The joint police campaigns, in the Wairarapa and elsewhere, will be a visible reminder to play it safe this summer, and don’t drink and drive."

Inspector Neil Wynne, Central District Road Policing Manager, says the combined approach "lifts mythical boundaries" and means both Districts are better placed to target problem areas -- whether it’s alcohol or speed.

"If you see a booze bus in Martinborough then don’t be surprised if you see another in Masterton," he says. "And if you pass a Highway Patrol or speed camera car in Porirua there’s a strong chance you’ll find another couple before you reach Otaki."