Drivers face more urban checkpoints

By Roger Moroney

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Expect to see plenty more of this - a warrant, registration and licence checkpoint being carried out in Napier South.
Expect to see plenty more of this - a warrant, registration and licence checkpoint being carried out in Napier South.

Hawke's Bay police will continue to stage almost daily checkpoints across Napier and Hastings aimed at ensuring motorists are driving vehicles with current registration and warrants of fitness.

Checks that correct seat restraints are used, drivers are not using mobile phones and license checks are also being carried out at police stops which are becoming a common sight on suburban streets.

The checkpoints have been operating as part of the police road safety programme and would likely be stepped up over the next few weeks.

"We are taking a multi-faceted approach," Road Policing Senior Sergeant Greg Brown said, adding that with schools set to go back toward the end of January the police road safety profile would be increased.

Police will also be working alongside Roadsafe Hawke's Bay teams in special campaigns focused on correct seat restraint use and ensuring mobile phones are not used while driving.

Mr Brown said as well as the safety aspect, some checkpoints were being set up in areas where there had been several crimes reported as a "profile and deterrent" approach.

Several vehicles had been written off the road over the past month after being found without warrants of fitness, registration and "with various defects".

At one checkpoint in Harold Holt Ave about two weeks ago a van was seen being towed away which one resident watching described as being "not even fit to be on a farm track".

Apart from the standard fines, the owner was also required to pay for its towage and storage.

"It has always been the driver's responsibility to make sure their vehicle is up to scratch - our part is checking to make sure they are."

Mr Brown said the days of leniency and warnings were over and infringement notices were effectively now automatic.

In pursuit of people using mobile phones while driving or not wearing seat restraints police, in some circumstances, would use "spotters" who would call in an errant driver to the checkpoint ahead.

"If drivers abide by the law then they will have no issues.

"What we want is safe drivers and safe vehicles."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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