All police vehicles to have GPS

Police vehicles in New Zealand will eventually have GPS tracking for comms centres and dispatchers to better assist deployment and response times.

Police witnesses were called to give evidence at the joint inquest before coroner Richard McElrea for Grant Roberts, 43, and Dennis Pederson, 54, killed on the Lindis Pass on November 26, 2012.

Chinese student Kejia Zhang, 20, was convicted of causing the two deaths and injuring two others.

The inquest heard evidence from Queenstown-Lakes response manager Senior Sergeant John Fookes, forensic crash analyst Senior Constable Alastair Crosland, of Alexandra, and southern communications centre manager Inspector Kieren Kortegast, of Christchurch.

Police told the coroner about the evidential requirements around dangerous driving, the increase in the number of crashes in the lower South Island and police communications protocols for *555 calls and dispatching.

Police comms received *555 calls about Zhang's driving before the fatal crash on the Lindis Pass but an officer was unable to locate her car, which was reported around Lake Pukaki heading south. There was an unaccounted period of more than an hour and the inquest was told she may have turned off towards Mt Cook.

Kortegast said the organisation rolled out 12,000 iPads and iPhones since 2012 and frontline officers had the ability to check police databases using these devices.

"Eventually we will have AVL [automatic vehicle location] . . . so we can see in the comms centre where all the police resources are.

"One of the difficulties we face in rural areas is working out where our patrols are and also getting them to respond."

The Southland Times