Waikato's weekend drivers 'appal' police

17:00, Sep 02 2014

Drunk drivers, speeders, disqualified drivers and those who weren't belted in made an "appalling" weekend for police around the Waikato.

District road policing manager inspector Freda Grace said the spike in the number of speeding and drunk drivers was atrocious and some of the Waikato's most vulnerable communities were being put at risk.

The results of preventative police checkpoints - both rural and urban - were appalling, she said.

A man forbidden to drive two days earlier was stopped on Friday, travelling at 141kmh on Cambridge Rd in Hamilton.

His vehicle was impounded and he was suspended from driving for 28 days.

"Another two motorists were found driving while disqualified and they also had their vehicles impounded."


A convoy of 15 cars driven by "suspected boy racers" was intercepted early Sunday morning after police found one driver well over the speed limit.

The vehicle was travelling at 107kmh on a 50kmh stretch of Hamilton's Tuhikaramea Rd about 1am.

Later in the day a suspended driver had his car impounded after driving at 147kmh on Awaiti Rd near Thames.

Speeders were also a concern at a Pirongia checkpoint targeting those heading to the ski fields via SH39.

One driver - who had recently flown into Auckland from Australia - was clocked doing 131kmh on the rural Paterangi Rd.

He "had to be calmed down before he was allowed to continue," Grace said.

But the Pirongia checkpoint also provided one of the few positives to come out of the weekend, Grace said. Dozens of motorists were stopped and none had been drinking.

Yet seven Hamilton CBD drivers were processed for excess breath alcohol on Friday night alone, she said.

And drunk drivers weren't just in the city.Two were dealt with in Paeroa, one in Morrinsville and another in Te Aroha.

Calls from concerned members of the public on Saturday night ended up stopping another on SH3 at Ohaupo.

"On breath testing the 45-year-old driver the man returned a breath alcohol reading of 609mgms. The legal limit for a fully licensed adult driver is 400."

Another drunk driver cropped up at a checkpoint in Matamata.

The focus of that "preventative checkpoint" was on seatbelts and child car restraints but the 15 infringement notices handed out for that proved to be just the start.

"Three drivers face action for using cell phones, while another five were stopped for failing to give way," Grace said.

Another 44 drivers were processed for other offences, mainly speeding.

Waikato Times