Source: New Zealand Police
Source: New Zealand Police
Vodafone Warriors join NZ Police and Auckland Transport on drink driving operation
Last night, Police were supported by the Vodafone Warriors and Auckland Transport on a major alcohol prevention operation, which was a little bit different.
The operation saw four checkpoints set up in Manukau, East Tamaki, Takanini, and Mt Wellington.
In a pleasant twist, those who went through the check point and were identified as being sober, having a sober driver, or using a driving service were provided with rewards as a thank you for their efforts. And the rewards were handed out by members of the Vodafone Warriors.
Rewards included flags, miniature rugby balls, and meet and greets with their favourite Vodafone Warriors players.
Tickets to the Vodafone Warriors match vs Penrith Panthers on the 24th of August at Mt Smart Stadium were also handed out to motorists driving drink free.
People who went through the checkpoint were excited and pleased with the unexpected opportunity to interact with Vodafone Warriors and grateful for being rewarded for their responsible behaviour.
Over 3,000 vehicles were stopped as part of the exercise and unfortunately, we still had 21 individuals processed for drink driving who will now be facing an appearance in court rather than free tickets to the Warriors next home game.
National Road Policing Manager, Superintendent Steve Greally says it was amazing to have Warriors players rewarding good behaviour and reinforcing safety messaging around the importance of driving drink free.
“People were very surprised to see them at the check point with Police. As an organisation they have taken a strong stance against driving under the influence of alcohol and we really commend them for that.
“The operation was designed to raise awareness of the drive drink free message and encourage positive behaviours, rather than focussing only on those people found to be breaking the law.
“Aside from a potential conviction and date in court, your risk of being involved in a serious crash is vastly heightened when driving under the influence of alcohol. Tragically, 75 people in Auckland have lost their lives and further 516 were seriously injured in alcohol related crashes in the past five years (2013 – 2017). That tells us that attitudes around drink driving still have to change,” says Supt. Greally.
“We know that many people in our communities look up to the Warriors and we hope that if they can see the Warriors players want people to drive drink free, then it might make them think twice before they get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.”
Police would like to thank both the Vodafone Warriors and Auckland Transport for their help in making such a positive event possible.
Auckland Transport’s chief executive, Shane Ellison, says the operation on Saturday demonstrates that working together to reduce alcohol related crashes is key.
“It’s our number one priority to improve road safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries by 60 per cent, but we can’t do it alone.
“We need to all work together to make our roads safer, and the Warriors are great advocates helping us and Police to spread the message of driving drink free.”
Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George said the club welcomed the opportunity to join the Police and Auckland Transport in last night’s operation.
“The players really relished being involved in last night’s operation,” he said.
“It was not only a special experience for them being out on the frontline with NZ Police and Auckland Transport but it also gave them the chance to make a real contribution in helping to raise awareness of the drive drink free message.
“Helping with initiatives of this type is really important to us as an organisation. We believe we have a responsibility to support our community in a positive way and our players are in a position to make a real difference.”
Shelley Nahr/NZ Police