Drivers seek to slip police inter-net

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2013

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Social media users are thumbing their noses at police attempts to curb drink-driving.

But police say a Facebook page set up to help drink-drivers avoid police checkpoints by posting their time and locations isn't worth a pixel.

Set up on Monday, just weeks after the Taranaki Daily News ran the anti-drink-drive campaign, None for the Road, the page had already attracted 427 friends.

A message on the page by the creators explains how it works.

"Every time you go past or see a booze bus stop or cop stop just post the time and location that you seen it, easy as lets make this big . . .," it says.

The message ends with "FTP", an anti-police slogan.

So far, users have posted police locations in Vogeltown and Waitara.

But New Plymouth's traffic and alcohol group head, Sergeant Shane Hurliman, questioned how effective the site would be.

"There are very few checkpoints that are set up for more than an hour," he said.

"If all drink-drivers are studiously watching, they aren't going to be having much of a time out there.

"If they had seen the messes that I've seen in the mortuary, after we've had to scrape them off the road through drink-driving, FTP would be the last thing on their minds."

He said police were unlikely to take too much notice of the page other than to show those caught how ineffective it was.

"I would regard such a page as being a little futile," he said.

"Ask anyone that has a radar detector in their car how many times they have been busted for speed."

Mr Hurliman said some checkpoint locations were repeatedly used and it wouldn't take much to learn where they were.

"We are there to show the flag, and be a deterrent, as much as a capture point," he said.

Late last year, two similar pages in the Bay of Plenty and Auckland were shut down by their creators.

Police denied any involvement in the sudden demise of the web pages.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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