Police in Canterbury are urging drivers to slow down after dozens of people were snapped crossing the centre line because of speed.

Roading policing manager for Canterbury, acting Inspector Leairne Dow, said officers out monitoring driver behaviour on the inland route between Christchurch and Nelson over the weekend found a high number of motorists crossing the centre line at bends.

As a result, 14 people were stopped near Mauria on State Highway 65 during a four-hour period on Sunday.

The next day, 21 drivers were stopped for crossing the centre line between 9.30am and 4.30pm.


Dow said motorists not only needed to slow down around bends, but to drive to the conditions - particularly when the weather is bad.

"Poor weather is no excuse for poor driving,'' she said.

"It is always the responsibility of the motorist to drive to the conditions.

"Motorists are travelling too fast for the conditions - risking other people's lives.''

Among the incidents seen by police yesterday was an incident in which a heavy motor vehicle was forced to swerve off the highway, as the driver tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle that had crossed the centre line.

"Fortunately, no one was injured,'' Dow said.

The charges for those drivers stopped during the two-day operation will range from failing to keep left - which results in a $150 fine and 20 demerit points - to careless driving charges.

Police also encourage other motorists who may see hazardous driving behaviour to note the vehicle's description and number plate and to call *555, for free, when it is safe to do so to report them.