High speeds near fatal crash site of concern to Waikato Police

High speeds near fatal crash site of concern to Waikato Police

This driver was stopped travelling at 143km/h this morning
  • This driver was stopped travelling at 143km/h this morning
  • Too many too fast is the message from Waikato Police
  • The driver of this vehicle told Police he had no idea he was travelling at 176km/h

As their colleagues work to establish the cause of a fatal collision on a busy Waikato highway, road policing staff are asking why the loss of a life and the critical injury of another person isn’t a sufficient deterrent to stop people speeding.

District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Freda Grace, said the question comes after two drivers were stopped this morning travelling at 143km/h on SH1, the Waikato Expressway, near Taupiri.

“The first driver was stopped at 07.35am and the second at 08.20am on a highway in close proximity to the road, SH1B, where last night’s fatality occurred. A short time later the driver of a utility was stopped travelling at 176km/h and told our officer he had zoned out and had no idea of his speed.

“Given the media have helped get the message out about how SH1B will have to be closed for part of today to allow the scene of the crash to be mapped out, it’s pretty disappointing these drivers, who had their licenses suspended, have chosen to place themselves and other motorists at risk.”

Mrs Grace said the risk posed by high speeds couldn’t be ignored.

“Last year, of the 35 fatal crashes in the Waikato, 15 occurred where excessive speed was a contributing factor in terms of speed limits or climatic conditions.

“From a policing perspective, it’s no longer solely an enforcement issue; it’s a life saving one. Already this year 31 people have lost their lives on Waikato roads.  We are here to support the community but the community needs to support us in making our roads a safe environment.”

Mr Grace said the Police work to prevent road trauma by intervention, in this morning’s case stopping people driving at excessive speed.

“We would rather intervene in cases of weaving across lanes, speeding, not indicating or persons drinking and driving than have to attend serious crashes.

“Road trauma is a serious issue facing the community- families are left devastated. As a result of last night’s crash we have one family who have lost a loved one while another has a person fighting for her life. A third person has experienced something that will stay with her the rest of her days. We need to change attitudes towards trauma causing driving behaviour.”