Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Opinion: Hard line on fleeing drivers needed


Fleeing drivers could face more jail time and automatic car confiscation under recommendations from the police and Ministry of Transport.

I doubt the changes will reduce the number of drivers who try to do a runner but I fully support the idea all the same.

Fleeing from the police is incredibly dangerous, not only for those in the car but for police and other road users.

In the past five years there have been 29 deaths related to fleeing drivers.

These people take huge risks, often driving far too fast for the area or the conditions.

In many cases these drivers only come to the attention of the police because they are already driving dangerously. Add to that the speed increase when they decide to flee and you have a recipe for disaster.

Not only is it hugely dangerous, those who make the decision to flee know exactly what they are doing.

They only run because they know they have done something wrong already - if you were innocent you would have no qualms about stopping.

It is for that reason I doubt the law changes will make much difference. In that moment they make the decision to take their chances and hope they can escape the police.

As well as the unnecessary danger they put others in, that is also part of the reason they need to be punished harshly.

The police do their best to stop these people but they are often forced to call off the pursuit so as not to endanger more lives - and rightly so.

When these drivers are caught, whether during a chase or later on, I believe they should have their car and licence taken from them as well as having to go before the court.

If they will not stop at the request of a police officer, they should not be on the road.

We need to take a harsh stance on this if we hope to reduce the carnage caused by fleeing drivers.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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