The Tauranga teen who died after his car plunged over the edge of a bank during an out-of-control party is just one of more than 300 drivers who have fled police in the past five years.
Figures show 304 drivers were issued "fleeing driver notifications" in the Western Bay between July 2009 and June last year.
The number of fleeing drivers caught fluctuated between 50 in 2012 and 74 in 2013, according to police records.
It's not a choice by our staff. They are just doing their job. They've got to deal with bodies, injured people, drunken people, drunk friends and try to remain professional.
Last year, 63 Western Bay drivers were issued fleeing driver notifications.
Nationally, more than 11,000 drivers were caught fleeing police in the past five financial years.
Police signalled for Levi Green, 18, to pull over last Friday night for driving with a broken tail light. He sped off and within seconds his vehicle disappeared over a 10m bank.
He was thrown clear of the wreckage but died on the way to Tauranga Hospital. The tragedy was still under investigation.
Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Kevin Taylor said all fleeing driver situations were of concern.
"There is no particular pattern to the figures but every fleeing driver incident is dangerous, unpredictable and puts the safety of the public and police staff at risk.
"Invariably the reasons for not stopping are insignificant compared to the risk those drivers expose themselves and other members of the public to by their driving behaviour.
"Often, and particularly for younger drivers, it would be the diminished ability to perceive consequences."
Many drivers failed to stop because of a simple licence breach or speeding matter, he said.
"In a split second they elevate the situation from an instant fine, to vehicle impoundment and potential arrest.
"In too many cases the consequence is serious injury and, in extreme cases, the tragic loss of life."
Waikato and Bay of Plenty Police Association regional director Wayne Aberhart said the threshold for what was classified as a pursuit was low.
"When you put your reds and blues on it means stop. What part of stop don't people understand. If they don't decide to stop it puts us and the public at risk."
Mr Aberhart said there were now strict controls around pursuits and officers were told to pull out as soon as there was danger.
Fleeing drivers needed to consider the impact on police involved, he said.
"It's not a choice by our staff. They are just doing their job. They've got to deal with bodies, injured people, drunken people, drunk friends and try to remain professional."
Mr Aberhart said staff felt "really bad" whenever a pursuit ended in injury or death.
"What they've got to really realise is it's not their fault. That person's made a conscious decision to take off and not stop."
New Zealand Police Association president Greg O'Connor said fleeing drivers were "a major dilemma".
"Those numbers only include drivers that were caught," he said. "There's a lot more drivers that have got away who will do it again because they think they can get away with it.
"It's an issue that police forces and governments around the world are grappling with.
"The question is do you have a no-pursuit policy or a very prescriptive one which actually makes roads less safe because you're incentivising drivers to get away from police?
"It's a matter of trying to get some kind of balance.
"Generally, I think we've got it pretty well right in New Zealand."