Drink drivers caught

By Genevieve Helliwell


A dozen motorists travelling on rural Western Bay roads have been busted for drink driving.

A police sting held over three nights in Katikati last week saw 12 drivers caught over the limit.

Police are targeting rural roads in a bid to reduce the road toll.

Head of road policing in the Western Bay, Senior Sergeant Ian Campion said 12 drivers caught was 12 drivers too many.

"That is a huge number for a small town like Katikati,'' he said.

"These 12 drivers are trying to share the road with law abiding road users and this is not acceptable and those drivers are now facing drink driving-related charges.''

The bulk of the people caught in the sting were locals, which Mr Campion said was particularly alarming.

"Statistics show rural people die on rural roads and it's generally not that far from their residential address,'' he said.

"I accept it might be easier in urban areas to arrange transport after a night out drinking but when you're planning to have a few drinks, you must include a plan on how to get home.''

Mr Campion was particularly concerned about drink driving in rural areas as surrounding roads generally had a higher speed limit.

"One of the bigger problems in rural areas is the speed limit is much higher than urban areas so when you've got a situation where alcohol is combined with higher speeds, that can translate into serious injuries or even worse.''

"As at last week, there have been three fatal crashes involving four fatalities on Western Bay roads since January 1 and while this is lower than previous years at the same time of the year, we really want to keep the road toll down and keep people safe on our roads.''

Mr Campion said some people might have the mentality that they were less likely to get caught for drink driving in rural  areas, but this was not the case.

"The Traffic Alcohol Group (TAG) and police will continue to target rural areas as well as urban areas to get drink drivers off our roads.''

"This is a reminder to all drivers that they can expect to be breath tested anytime, anywhere.''

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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