Two heavy motor vehicle enforcement operations in the Ohope area have resulted in just two breaches of the heavy vehicle bylaw, from a total of 421 vehicles stopped.
The officer in charge of Eastern Bay of Plenty Road Policing, Sergeant Ray Wylie, says Police are pleased with the results of the operation as it clearly indicates that the overwhelming majority of heavy vehicle drivers are complying with the local bylaw.
The Whakatane District Council amended the bylaw in March 2011 to prohibit heavy motor vehicles from travelling in certain areas unless they need to do so for business or delivery purposes, or if an alternative route is not available.
The prohibition applies to all roads in areas designated as urban traffic areas within Whakatane and Ohope, apart from some exceptions. A heavy vehicle bypass has been determined for vehicles to travel around the area.
Sergeant Wylie says even though the amendment only came into force in March, most drivers have quickly complied with the changes.
"This operation was a good benchmark for us in relation to this bylaw. We have received complaints from concerned members of the public who felt the bylaw was not being complied with, however, it is clear that for the most part, it is."
He says the operation was conducted over two different days in the Pohutukawa Ave area. The first was run on 27 April and the second on 12 May.
193 vehicles were stopped in the first operation – 13 of those were heavy vehicles with two receiving notices for breach of the bylaw. In the second phase, 228 vehicles were stopped, four being heavy vehicles, with none being found in breach of the bylaw. Three vehicles were stopped for excess speed in the second operation, with all three drivers identified as local residents.
"Enforcing the heavy vehicle bylaw will continue to be a focus for Eastern Bay of Plenty Police – as we also continue to focus on other road policing activities, such as drink driving and speed.
"Ensuring the safety of the public on Eastern Bay of Plenty roads is a key priority for us, and there will continue to be a high level of Police visibility on our streets, highways and country roads in an effort to achieve that.
"We also encourage members of the public to contact Police immediately on 111 or *555 to let us know about incidents of bad driving so that we can try and intervene sooner rather than later.