A motorist travelling at 135km/h in the central North Island is among bad drivers caught by a police "eye in the sky".

Officers from the Central District have been using a fixed-wing aircraft to keep tabs on drivers who go too fast - and too slow, holding up traffic and causing other people to get frustrated and take risks.

District road policing manager Inspector David White said the vehicle going at 135km/h was trying to avoid patrols by leaving the highway and speeding on rural roads.

"The plane directed the patrols on the ground who then intercepted the driver," Mr White said.


The plane was used to assist with monitoring traffic flow to and from the region's two big Boxing Day events: horse racing at Awapuni and motorcycle racing in Wanganui.

It also spotted a motor home which had been reported driving dangerously on SH1, and another bad driver was caught on SH57 near Shannon.

"This holiday period we're focusing on the fatal five; speed, seatbelts, alcohol, distraction, and fatigue," Mr White said.

"These factors can have a huge effect on road safety. The use of the plane is just another tool alongside speed detection, camera vans, checkpoints, and plain vehicles that we are using in the Central District in an effort to reduce the crash rate."