The first month of Operation Impact has passed with only one road death in Canterbury. Compared to six deaths in February last year, this result may be purely co incidental and no inference should be drawn from it, says Inspector Derek Erasmus.
"It takes a while to see the effects of an operation like this," he says. "The number of tickets issued in February doubled, but with the number of staff we had involved, including an enormous contribution from Southern and Tasman Police Districts, this was probably to be expected."
The tickets were largely issued for speed, and infringements at intersections, particularly on SH 1 at the edges of Christchurch where there was a large number of infringements.
During March seat belt and restraint compliance in all vehicles, including trucks, will be the focus.
Police are still awaiting further data and it will be several months before full results are posted.
Operation Impact continues through March to end of April.
"While it has been a good result, unfortunately it is sad it was not good for one family," says Inspector Erasmus.
Over the last three years Canterbury District has seen a spike in road deaths during the period mid February to early April. The deaths have occurred throughout the District but the State Highway network is a significant risk.
Operation Impact involvea all Road Policing staff from Canterbury (Highway Patrol, STU, and TAG), with support at times from Southern and Tasman Highway Patrol and TAG, as well as CVIU.
Its mission is to reduce the number of fatal and injury crashes on Canterbury roads in comparison with the same period over recent years. There will be an emphasis on visibility, strict enforcement and publicity.
The operation will target all forms of bad driving and bad motoring practice including speed, alcohol, intersections, restraints, licence breaches and general driver behaviour.