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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Last week was another example of excellent road policing on behalf of Queenstown staff as they removed a significant amount of risk from the road in a short period of time.

On Wednesday alone, a single Queenstown staff member stopped 15 drivers for mobile phone use, four for not wearing seatbelts, five for speeding infringements and two for drinking and driving.

These high-risk behaviours contribute to driving related harm and thankfully were spotted before injury, or death, could occur.

Policing to ensure the safety of New Zealand’s roads is a top priority for police.

Our road policing activities focus on the high-risk behaviours of ensuring drivers and their passengers are buckling up, not impaired by drugs and alcohol nor distracted, and enforcing speed limits.

These activities contribute to Police’s long-term aim of reducing road deaths in New Zealand to zero by 2030 as part of the interagency Road to Zero strategy.

Deaths and serious injuries on the road are not an inevitability and for Police that starts with all road users doing their bit to make sure they reach their destination safely.

“You can expect our officers to be out in force anytime, anywhere to deter unsafe driving behaviour.

But Police can’t do this alone. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, we all have a role to play in keeping our roads safe” says Road Policing Manager, Senior Sergeant Sarah Thorn.

Road Policing officer Constable Brent Rush says “it is really obvious to Police who is concentrating on the task at hand and who isn’t.

People who are driving distracted often do not see Police, even in marked vehicles, and when we pull those people over, they know they have been caught.”

“It is common for Police to see people engaging in a couple of different poor driving practices at the same time, like using their phone and speeding, and when everyone around them is driving safely they stick out like a sore thumb.

I think one of the more disappointing things is that a lot of people are still using their phones while driving and it’s an offence we frequently see people committing in Queenstown now. It seems that the message isn’t really sinking in” Rush says.

In 2020, distraction was a factor in 23 deaths and 125 serious injuries on our roads.

“If you don’t want to be stopped by Police, don’t give us a reason to. Using a mobile while driving, places yourself, anyone else in your vehicle and all other road users at risk” says Senior Sergeant Sarah Thorn.

This is not just a problem in Queenstown, high-risk driving happens all over the country. Drivers have to play their part in keeping the community safe and making sure your friends and family get home safe. 

Police urge drivers to remember the responsibility they have when on the road. It is important that you are alert and distraction free when you get behind a wheel.


Issued by Police Media Centre