Police Beat: Fit to drive and survive

Waikato Police want motorists to get their licences and vehicles sorted to avoid an unwelcome surprise this Christmas.

Sergeant Neil Mansill of the Matamata-Piako Strategic Traffic Unit reported road policing and an Automatic Number Plate Recognition unit (ANPR) were involved in a recent operation centred on Paeroa.

"In all, 2760 vehicles were stopped and 20 were identified as being of interest to us, including one listed as stolen.

"It turned out the owner of the car had recovered it but not told police, so there's a lesson to be learned in regards to not wasting police time."

Two non-operational orders were issued and two vehicles seized while another 110 infringement offence notices and 10 traffic offence notices were issued.

Of concern was the number of previously forbidden or disqualified drivers behind the wheel - some hadn't renewed their licences or were driving with expired licences.

People driving with an expired licence, or failing to renew after a period of disqualification, run the risk of a $400 fine, or being forbidden to drive again.

"It's important that if you have been the subject of such action to renew your driver licence.

"While most of the people who came to our attention were given a period to comply the last thing you want is to be facing a hefty fine."

Mr Mansill said while some would question the police's timing on staging such checkpoints the reason for the operation was preventing trauma on Waikato roads.

"With 42 deaths from 38 crashes, the Waikato 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 driver licences.

"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."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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