Selwyn councillor Malcolm Lyall defends notifying motorists of police checkpoint

Selwyn District councillor Malcolm Lyall posted on Christchurch Police Check Points on Friday night advising the more ...
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Selwyn District councillor Malcolm Lyall posted on Christchurch Police Check Points on Friday night advising the more than 32,000 members of a "full check point in operation" on Springs Rd, Prebbleton.

A Canterbury district councillor has defended posting the location of a police checkpoint on Facebook.

Selwyn District councillor Malcolm Lyall posted on Christchurch Police Check Points on Friday night advising the more than 32,000 members of a "full check point in operation" on Springs Rd, Prebbleton, near Christchurch.

Police were critical of the move, saying those who helped drivers under the influence escape detection should think "long and hard about how they would feel if that person then went on to kill or seriously injure someone in their family".

When contacted on Tuesday, Lyall, said he posted the information in the hope people would be careful driving.

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"If you're under the influence you shouldn't be driving," he said.

"My comments were to let people know it was there so that they perhaps wouldn't get in their car if they were over the limit."

Lyall, who has a breath-testing device in his car, said it was not for him to make a "moral judgment" if motorists avoided the checkpoint after seeing his post.

"That's their decision."

Acting road policing manager Kelly Larsen said while police welcomed the public being more aware of the risks around drink driving, warnings on social media was not the way to minimise risk.

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"Twenty four people have died on Canterbury roads this year. That's 24 families who are dealing with the unexpected and tragic loss of someone they love and care about," she said.

"Anyone who encourages a driver who may be drunk or drugged to avoid police detection needs to think long and hard about how they would feel if that person then went on to kill or seriously injure someone in their family or one of their friends."

Lyall said he disagreed with the drink-drive laws introduced in 2014 and thought 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath was "fine".

"I don't agree with the police's alcohol and speed policy they are running nationwide throughout the country, it's not stopping people dying in Selwyn at the moment.

"People die at intersections mostly in Selwyn, they die of human error or bad decisions."

Larsen said police checkpoints were based on risk and operated in a range of locations.

"Their focus is on detection 'anywhere, anytime' or remove disqualified, dangerous, drunk or drugged drivers and unsafe vehicles from our road. Preventing accidents and saving lives is paramount."

Reducing serious crashes was a "community responsibility".

"We can make a difference, but only if we all work together and encourage people to make responsible choices in relation to their driving behaviour."

 - Stuff

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