Play by rules, holidaymakers told

By don.farmer@age.co.nz

1 comment
SMASH: A car which rolled on Castlepoint Beach this month. PHOTO/FILE
SMASH: A car which rolled on Castlepoint Beach this month. PHOTO/FILE

Festive-season holidaymakers and day trippers to Castlepoint and Riversdale Beach have been issued a stern safety message.

The residents in the two communities, in tandem with police, want the message to be heeded to the benefit of all.

Constable Shayne Nolan, of Masterton police, said the main concerns centred on alcohol use, offroad vehicles, and vehicles driven close to pedestrians.

Police will be in residence at Castlepoint and Riversdale for two weeks from December 27 and extra officers will be on coastal watch on New Year's Eve.

Roads to and from the beaches will be regularly patrolled throughout the holidays.

Mr Nolan said visitors to the area should be aware of a liquor ban imposed for all public areas.

A vehicle ban on the beach will be in force from 6pm on December 31 until 6pm on January 1.

"Anyone found breaching the ban may receive an instant fine of $250," said Mr Nolan.

The use of quad bikes would be scrutinised. All-terrain vehicles are principally designed for off-road use and about a quarter of all injuries sustained in ATV crashes are head injuries, yet few riders wear helmets.

"Wearing an approved helmet is the best way to prevent serious head injury."

The law requires drivers of ATV motorbikes to have a class 1 (car) or class 6 (motorbike) licence and everyone on an ATV motorbike must wear a safety-approved helmet.

The maximum allowable speed is 30km/h and if passengers are carried, the driver must hold a full licence.

"There can be no more than two passengers at any time and they must not sit forward of the driver," Mr Nolan said.

ATVs used on a road must have current registration and licence plate.

Mr Nolan said people visiting Castlepoint and Riversdale were reminded vehicles must be used safely.

"The beach is legally classed as a road, so posted speed limits apply. If there is no posted speed limit, then a 50 km/h limit applies. The posted speed limit at the Castlepoint Lagoon is 20km/h."

He said unsafe behaviour such as speeding or doing "doughnuts" could lead to vehicle confiscation and disqualification.

"A recent serious crash at Castlepoint has highlighted how dangerous such behaviour can be."

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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