It was lucky a load of wooden planks protruding from the rear window of a yellow car driving through central Whangarei did not sideswipe someone, police say.

The yellow-coloured Toyota Altezza was spotted at the roundabout near Whangarei District Law Courts heading north on Saturday about 2.20pm.

A following motorist slightly surprised to see the wide load of planks out the window plus two wooden pallets loaded on the roof snapped a photo.

Northland police road policing manager Inspector Wayne Ewers said it was a fairly dangerous way to shift a load of wood.

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"It's a little surprising that they did not sideswipe someone," Mr Ewers said.

The diver continued up Bank St after the following motorist turned off.

Mr Ewers said if the driver had been spotted by police they could have been issued with an instant fine for an insecure load or over width load, both a $600 fine.

Another charge could have been careless driving which would mean the driver would have a court appointment to attend.

Mr Ewers said the driver could still be charged if police had the registration number, although they would want to seek an explanation in the first instance.