Waikato Police are urging motorists to get their licences and vehicles in order or risk an unwelcome surprise this Christmas.
Sergeant Neil Mansill of the Matamata-Piako Strategic Traffic Unit said road policing officers from across the eastern Waikato combined with Highway Patrol officers on Tuesday in a joint traffic operation centred around Paeroa.
"In all 2760 vehicles were stopped and 20 vehicles were identified as being of interest to us, including one listed as stolen,'' Mr Mansill said.
"As it turned out the owner of the car had recovered it himself but not told Police so there's a lesson to be learned in regards to not wasting Police time but also saving yourself a lot of hassle as well."
There were also two non-operational orders issued and two vehicles seized as part of the operation while another 120 infringement notices were issued.
One area of concern for Police was the number of previously forbidden or disqualified drivers found behind the wheel who hadn't renewed their licences and those driving with expired licences.
"There were 10 people who fell under this category and another 10 who were forbidden to drive once they had encountered our check-points, people driving with an expired license or who have not renewed it after a period of disqualification run the risk of a $400 fine or being forbidden to drive again.
Mr Mansill said anyone who was the subject of such action should then renew their drivers' licence.
The operation was based on awareness in the hope of preventing road trauma on Waikato roads.
"With 42 deaths from 38 crashes, the Waikato currently has the country's highest road toll. Last year 12 people died in nine fatal crashes involving drivers breaching their forbidden to drive orders, licence disqualifications or restrictions of graduated drivers' licences,'' Mr Mansill said.
"So there is a real emphasis on compliance to prevent further road trauma, the thing to do is to make sure not only your car, but the person behind the wheel is fit to drive - fit to survive."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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