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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Police in Southland are concerned about the reckless and dangerous behaviour displayed by some motorists including instance of drivers failing to stop when signalled.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Baird, Southland Area Investigation Manager says “This behaviour has to cease. It’s just so dangerous and is putting people’s lives at risk.”

“If you decide to flee you are putting yourself, your passengers, Police staff and the public at risk of being injured or worse.”

Police is committed to making our roads safer and will prioritise safety over the immediate apprehension of a fleeing driver.

“Instead, we will follow up with other investigation techniques, witnesses, officer knowledge and avenues of enquiry to identify the vehicle and driver so they can be held to account. We will find those offenders who flout the law and prosecute if necessary.

If you fail to stop or remain stopped for Police, you could be prosecuted for:
• Failing to stop for red and blue flashing lights $10,000 fine
• Dangerous or Reckless driving $4500 fine, 3 months’ imprisonment and mandatory 6 months disqualification

Police also have the power to seize vehicles for 28 days in these types of incidents and there are additional powers requiring the registered owners of vehicles to provide details of passengers and drivers of fleeing vehicles.

“Losing your licence or having your vehicle impounded may impact on your ability to work and provide for your family, so we’re urging drivers to act safely and stop when signalled by Police.”

Holding a fleeing driver to account does not necessarily mean a prosecution – especially when the fleeing driver and/or vehicle occupants are young. Police will use discretion and take the most appropriate action in the circumstances, which may be education, compliance, or enforcement.

“Our message to all drivers is that we want you to make safe decisions when you’re behind the wheel, so you don’t contribute to someone being killed or injured in a crash.  We want fewer whanau in our community to have to deal with the loss of someone they love and care about.”

“Our team are out on our roads deterring unsafe driving behaviour to make sure everyone gets to where they are going safely.”

Issued by Police Media Centre