Friday, 22 August 2014 - 11:58am |

Police say solution to problem of stock on roads lies in partnership, not blame

3 min read


Waikato Police are urging land owners to check the integrity of their fences and gates and motorists to ensure their vehicles are up to warrant of fitness standard following a number of crashes and near misses this week.   District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Freda Grace, said the week started with a driver being seriously hurt in a two car collision with a cow in Örongo near Kopu early on Monday morning.   "Then on Tuesday morning another driver was seriously hurt when his car collided with a cow on SH2 between Ngatea and Kerepëhi shortly after 3am."   "If that wasn't of enough concern our staff, animal control officers and concerned members of the public also had to deal with a number of other incidents to try and prevent further road trauma."   Those incidents include;   • 6-10 sheep on SH23/ Manukau Rd Raglan about midday on Sunday.  • A cow on SH2 near Steen Rd Waitakaruru about 2pm Sunday. • Four cows wandering from Island Block Rd on to SH1 at Meremere about 4pm Sunday. • A large sheep on SH27 at Patetonga about 4.15pm Sunday. • A cow running along Old Tauranga rd near Waihi about 8am on Monday. • Five cows loose on SH1 at Ohinewai about 4.30pm on Monday. • Seven large cows on Bush Rd near Ngatea about 6.30am Monday. • A large deer on SH29 on the west side of the Kaimai summit about 9.45am on Monday. • Three sheep on the road on SH25 near Whitianga at 12.20pm on Monday. • 10-15 cows walking along Waitomo Caves Rd about 4.20am Monday. • A cow on SH3 near Ohaupo about 11am Tuesday. • Three goats on the Thames Coast Rd about midday on Thursday. • Two cows on SH3 near Airport Rd, Rukuhia about 6.35am Friday.   "In addition to these we've had about half a dozen incidents of dogs on rural highways over the same period including two incidents where the animals have had to be put down.   "In each incident there was the potential for serious injuries or worse being suffered and Police are very appreciative of motorists taking the time to notify authorities of potential risks and in many cases, making efforts to usher stock back into paddocks before accidents occur."   Mrs Grace said to avoid tragedy it is important for land owners to ensure the integrity of their fences and farm gates, particularly in areas where stock are grazing paddocks next to roadsides.   "At the same time motorists have responsibilities as well. We need to ensure vehicles are up to warrant of fitness standard, particularly in terms of headlights. Drivers need to drive at a speed that allows them to react in time to unforeseen circumstances and having proper lighting plays a major part in this.   "Another important thing is motorists who have crashes where farm fences are damaged need to report it, not slink off in the middle of the night leaving a potential accident waiting to happen." Mrs Grace said road safety being everyone's responsibility isn't a slogan, its a reality.   "If people ensure stock are safely and securely restrained from accessing the road and motorists are taking responsibility for their vehicles and their driving, serious injury incidents such as Monday's and Tuesday's can be avoided- and that's good for everyone."   End