Monday, 16 March 2009 - 12:15pm |

Results from Operation Blak Friday

2 min read

While happy with a predominantly crash free Black Friday Waikato Police say the challenge now is for drivers to change their habits on the road without a heavy Police presence.

Road Policing and General Duties staff from across Hamilton, Huntly and Morrinsville combined with Court Bailiffs to run dozens of checkpoints to highlight the issue of Friday being the worst day for crashes on Waikato roads.

District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, said to highlight the National Restraint Week a Grim Reaper was on hand delivering a sweetener to compliant drivers.

"We had two operations working at the same time. As part of National Restraint Week we ran Operation Black Friday where we were checking the wearing of seatbelts and the fitting of child restraints.

"On the other hand we had Operation Hemmed-In in conjunction with Court Bailiffs concentrating on the serviceability of vehicles and any outstanding fines associated with those vehicles and their drivers."

200 infringement notices were issued during the blitz and 26 cars seized, 19 by the Bailiffs and seven by Police. In addition over $69,000 worth of fines were processed.

"On the positive side of the over 1000 drivers' breath tested none were driving while over the limit while there was even better news in that the objective of a crash free day within Hamilton City was achieved."

Huntly Police were congratulating their drivers as well with supporting checkpoints in and around the North Waikato town recording similar results.

Sergeant Juliet Burgess of the Huntly Strategic Traffic Unit said it was pleasing to be able to report a crash free shift and said the challenge now was for motorists to continue that form without the need for a blitz by Police staff.

Her thoughts were echoed by Morrinsville colleague Sergeant Neil Mansill who's staff carried out similar checkpoints around their town.

"Again, it's pleasing that there were no intoxicated drivers or crashes in our area but there were dozens of infringement notices issued which is something we'll be working on," he said.

While it's time for the Reaper to hang up his scythe until later in the year Waikato Police will be maintaining their focus on vehicle restraints.

Mr Tooman said Police will be back on the streets over the next few weeks working alongside ACC staff focusing on child car restraints, particularly those of the under fives.

"Last year there were some real horror stories and as mentioned last week with the 18-month-old standing up holding on to the dashboard of a car there's still a lot of work to be done."