Operation Impact has been focussing on round-a-bout and general intersection behaviour in the last two weeks with the number of tickets issued reflecting the concentration of resources. About double the usual.
"Christchurch is notorious for intersection crashes," says Senior Sergeant Neville Hyland, Highway Patrol. "While this is compounded by the city layout it is also because drivers seem to show general ignorance of the rules and are impatient."
Drivers are being ticketed for incorrect behaviour at round-a-bouts but also being given information about indicator rules. Neville Hyland says that being sensible and aware when driving is a big part.
"Don't be impatient. A stop sign means stop however it is amazing how many drivers will just slow down or change gear, and not come to a complete stop. A yellow light means stop if it is safe but many drivers seem to speed up to dash through the intersection. If you break the rules at compulsory stops and traffic lights - expect a ticket."
Highway Patrol and ACC have set out to highlight the issue of fatigue as a significant contributor to crashes.
Police and ACC set up a fatigue stop at Lake Pierson, SH73 on Sunday 5 March, with 600 vehicles stopped in three hours. Drivers were provided with handouts with information and invited to pull off the road and have complimentary coffee and food. Police and ACC were pleased with the response of drivers of whom about a third took advantage of the offer.
During the weekend of 11 and 12 March, Operation Impact again had a heavy police presence again on SH73, concentrating on excess speed. The fastest vehicle clocked was travelling at 142km/hour.
"This is unacceptable at any time, and quite ridiculous in the volume of traffic," says Neville Hyland.
Over the weekend 324 vehicles were stopped on SH 73.
This week the ring roads around the city are in the operation focus, where excess speeds and lack of signalling continue to be of concern. Speeding on Brougham and Jerrold Streets, especially where two lanes converge into one, is another area where you should expect to meet police this month.
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 will run from 13 February until 26 March 2006 and involves all Road Policing staff from Canterbury (Highway Patrol, STU, TAG and CVIU), with support at times from Southern and Tasman Highway Patrols and TAGs.
The 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.