Over 2500 drivers were stopped during a major policing operation in Central District this evening (Friday, 23 December) and not one was found to be over the drink drive limit.
Operation Waka Ora took place on State Highway 1 between 3pm and 6.30pm at Ohakea with around 30 police officers stopping and breath-screening all drivers.
Checks were also made for vehicle safety faults and Plunket was on hand to check that all children were safely restrained.
A total of 2553 drivers were stopped. Alcohol was detected on 12 drivers but breath screening test showed that none of them were over the legal limit.
One driver was dealt with for driving while forbidden and his car was impounded for 28 days.
Officer in Charge of the Central District Highway Patrol, Senior Sergeant Kris Burbery said: "We are delighted with the results. This was a great opportunity to reinforce the road safety message, with the official holiday period commencing at 4pm today and the fact that we tested that many people and did not find anyone breaching the drink-drive laws shows that the drivers are taking notice of the road safety messages."
Bottles of water and packs of road safety advice were handed out to drivers.
45 infringement notices and 1 Traffic Offence notice were issued for various offences including expired warrants of fitness's, drivers licensing offences and various vehicle defects.
Central District Highway patrol officers were supported by the Central District Traffic Alcohol Group (Booze Bus) and the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU).
"This was also a great opportunity to work with several key road safety partners such as ACC, St John Ambulance, Road Safety Coordinators, Plunket and Higgins Contractors"
Senior Sergeant Burbery said: "Drivers were again very positive regarding the actions of Police during this operation and responsive to the messages we were passing on, with many thanking the staff for trying to keep the roads safe."
Numerous road safety operations will continue throughout the holiday period and beyond, so all motorists are reminded that they could be stopped at any time. All drivers stopped by police will be breath-tested.
"It is important that drivers remember that road safety is everyone's responsibility and we want every journey to be a safe journey".
"Please do not forget between 23 December and 4 January the tolerance for exceeding the speed limit will be reduced to 4 km/h, remember the speed limit is that - a limit, it is not a target"
To stay safe this Christmas:
• The simplest message is, if you drink - DON'T DRIVE.
• One person's limit is not another's. On different days at different times, depending on tiredness, stress levels, nutrition and other factors, a limit will change.
• Remember there is now a zero alcohol limit for drivers under the age of 20. The only safe option is not to drive.
• If your nominated sober driver drinks alcohol make alternative transport arrangements. Never get into a vehicle when you know the driver has been drinking.
• Keep your speed down. Drive to the conditions
• Ensure you and all of your passengers are properly restrained.
• If you're driving put your phone down. No phone call is that important.
General road safety advice if you are taking a trip over the holidays:
• Have your car serviced or at least do some basic maintenance checks - oil, water, wiper blades and tyres.
• Map out your route.
• Check the weather and anticipated road conditions.
• Have a full tank of fuel and on a long trip work out in advance where you intend to re-fuel. Remember not all service stations are open 24hrs.
• Don't just re-fuel your vehicle. Take regular rest breaks. New Zealand has a great cafe coffee culture so make the most of it. Keep bottled water in the vehicle to ensure you stay hydrated.
• Make sure there is plenty to keep children occupied. Bored and restless children are a distraction and can stress a driver.
• Keep an emergency pack to hand with water, snacks, warm clothing and a first aid kit in case of a breakdown. If you have a mobile phone make sure it is fully charged for an emergency but remember it is now against the law to use it while driving.
If you know of someone who is a danger on our roads call the police. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or submit information online via www.crimestoppers-nz.org