Spotter plane watches over drivers

Last updated 15:21 27/12/2012

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Police have taken to the skies in an effort to curb dangerous driving.

Central District police have used a spotter plane this holiday period to support police patrolling on the roads. The plane's crew is on the lookout for dangerous drivers, including those travelling too slowly and frustrating other motorists.

Inspector Dave White said the plane was also used to help monitor traffic flows from two big events in the Central District: Boxing Day races at Awapuni, Palmerston North, and motorcycle racing in Whanganui.

"A vehicle was detected by ground patrols travelling at 135kmh on State Highway 3," White said.

"The vehicle was trying to avoid patrols by leaving the highway and speeding on rural roads. The plane directed the patrols on the ground who then intercepted the driver."

Other cases where the plane's been used include:

- A speedster was reported on State Highway 57, near Shannon. The car was spotted by the plane just out of Levin and stopped by police.

- The driver of a motor home was reported for dangerous driving on State Highway 1. It was spotted from the plane about 25 kilometres away and the crew observed further bad driving. Police on the road were directed to the motor home's location.

Policer are using the plane along with their usual toolkit of speed detectors, camera vans, checkpoints and mufti cars to focus on excessive speed, seatbelt infringements, drunk driving, distracted drivers and driver fatigue.

"One life has already sadly been lost on Central District roads this holiday period," he said.

"We want everyone to have a holiday without it being marred by disaster or death on our roads. Please remember to drive to survive this season."

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- Manawatu Standard

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