Crackdown reveals road loons
An intoxicated motorcyclist believed to be travelling in excess of 100kmh in a 40kmh suburban zone before slamming into a tree is an extreme example of high-risk behaviour on Waikato roads.
Road police in the region are nearing the end of a month-long crackdown on speeders and unfit vehicles.
And while there were a few incidents of extremely high-risk driving, it's the daily speeders who put society's most vulnerable at risk, Waikato road policing manager, Inspector Freda Grace, said.
"[Urban areas are] dangerous because it's high density and you're dealing often with vulnerable people in our community: pedestrians, children and older people," she said.
"And the faster you go, the bigger the mess. It's as simple as that."
She said the chances of having a crash in a high-density area are often greater than in rural zones.
"The risk for someone travelling 70kmh in a 50kmh area is far more significant, probably, than the person travelling at 120kmh on a well-designed road that's built for 100kmh."
The motorcyclist incident occurred shortly before noon on Barrington Drive in the Hamilton suburb of Huntington on June 22.
Grace said initial indications from the investigation suggest the motorcyclist was travelling in excess of 100kmh in a 40kmh zone when he crashed.
The bike was also unlicensed, without a warrant of fitness, and the rider was "heavily intoxicated".
"If we talk about our fatal five [factors] there's three of them - a high-risk driver, speed, and alcohol - and that's in a suburban street."
The motorcyclist remains in Waikato Hospital after suffering serious injuries in the crash.
Another motorist was caught travelling at 122kmh through a 70kmh rural area during a weekend, Grace said.
"It was also past a school - in rural schools you would anticipate sports and/or children using those as their playgrounds."
Another driver was clocked at 170kmh and, when breathalysed, blew twice the legal alcohol limit.
While that's obviously a concern for police, she stressed those incidents were the exception.
"All of us need to check our speeds, not only those at the top end," Grace said.
Waikato road police will focus on alcohol use among road users during July.