Wednesday, February 28, 2024

“Excuses, excuses” – New police campaign no laughing matter

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Counties Manukau road policing manager, Inspector Tony Wakelin, said while there is no excuse to speed, the reasons they hear on the daily are too funny not to share.

When it comes to speeding, Counties Manukau Highway Patrol officers have heard it all, literally.

From stuck jandals to stressed out dogs, lead foot motorists have tried just about every excuse in the book to get out of a speeding fine.

Summer’s here, and as part of Counties Manukau Police District’s continued effort to remind drivers there is no excuse to speed, police are highlighting the worst, and most wild, excuses for speeding road policing staff in each district have come across.

In Auckland, officers stopped a male driver for speeding and when asked why, he told police he had just washed his car and was drying it off.

“The driver received a $120 fine and 20 demerit points, safe to say it was an expensive blow dry,” police said.

Another driver told officers it wasn’t his intention to drive too fast, it’s just that his jandal had slipped and stuck the accelerator pedal to the floor.

“We hate it when that happens.”

For one unlucky motorist, who was stopped doing 136km/h, the excuse was simple: ‘It was the wind pushing me, it’s pretty windy out here aye?’

“Yeah, nah,” said police.

Counties Manukau road policing manager, Inspector Tony Wakelin, said while there is no excuse to speed, the reasons they hear on the daily are too funny not to share. And he is also hoping through the humour, people will realise there is a consequence to their actions.

“From ‘I need to get to a toilet’, to ‘I have to get to my friend’s place, my dog is stressing out’, our road police have heard everything,” Inspector Wakelin says.

“There’s nothing funny about attending a death on our roads.

“Every opportunity we can take to reduce speeds, even by a fraction, has the potential to make a huge difference to safety on our roads.”

Inspector Wakelin says officers hear the same old excuses from drivers when they’re caught speeding, time and time again.

But police often also have to witness the horrific consequences when there’s a crash.

“ ‘There isn’t a speed limit here, it’s a passing lane.

” ‘You can go as fast as you like to overtake safely’, ‘It’s not me, blame the car, it’s the car’… but it’s not, it’s the driver,” he said.

“In a crash, even when you’re not at fault, speed remains the single biggest factor in whether you and your passengers walk away or are carried away.

“It’s simple: less speed means less harm.

“We want you to get to your destination, so slow down, drive to the speed limit and drive to the conditions.

“nd know that you can expect to see police out on the roads – anytime and anywhere.”

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