Police are using the maximum discretion available to them in terms of any enforcement around commercial vehicles involved in flood clean up and stock movements, Inspector Ian James, of the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit said today.
"Rumours that Police are taking a high handed and inflexible approach to commercial vehicle enforcement in the lower central North Island are abounding.
"The facts of the matter are that for vehicles involved in the clean-up or the transfer of stock that are less than 10% over loaded, my officers have adopted a liberal approach and are unlikely to take action against vehicle operators.
"We realise these are difficult times for everyone and I can assure the public that we have no desire to do anything which might add extra stress to anyone trying to do their best in these difficult circumstances.
"If vehicles are over-laden by more than 10% of the permissible weights then officers have no legal discretion on the matter. They must insist that loads be off-loaded at the point of contact with an enforcement officer. The law has been written to ensure that road user safety is not compromised and that infrastructure like bridges is not put at risk."
Inspector James said that the Land Transport Safety Authority had granted extensions to driver hours to enable operators to work beyond the normal requirements.
"Everyone is putting their shoulder to the wheel to help out and we are as distressed as anyone by speculation that police would go out of our way during times of crisis to make life difficult for the highway heroes on the front line," said Inspector James.