Dobbing in drivers on the increase

Andrew Burns
Andrew Burns
An increasing number of motorists appear to be dobbing in bad drivers, and police are welcoming the information.

Over the past four years, the number of motorists calling the free, non-urgent traffic line has ranged between 251,000 and 291,000.

This summer, Southern District police have noticed an increase in the number of people using the *555 service.

Inspector Andrew Burns said that while police were finding more drivers were law-abiding on Otago and Southland roads, that had the effect of ''making bad driving examples stand out''.

''I think people are more inclined to let us know than they have in the past.''

Drivers were not ''narks'' by reporting bad driving but were helping to keep the community safe, he said.

Police took reports of poor driving seriously and ''we endeavour to take some action''.

''Sometimes we can only go so far as telling the person that we have received a complaint, but if we get sufficient information, we will prosecute.''

While people should be reminded not to contact *555 while driving, he was a fan of the service, as it enabled police to dispatch nearby patrols to a possible incident in the making.

If a motorist was spotted driving dangerously, then police would ''do everything we can to get a patrol on the way to hunt this vehicle down''.

If that vehicle was not located, the file would be assigned to an officer to follow up and, if there was sufficient evidence, a person would be charged, he said.

A police spokesman said while it was good the public was using the *555 service, motorists were encouraged to call 111 if the incident on the road posed a serious threat to public safety.


Success rate?

This story requires a lot more information.  The way I read it there are something like 270,000 calls per year nationally from people using the *555 service.  What we were not told was the number of calls made in this area, and more importantly how many of this large total resulted in Police obtaining a successful prosecution both nationally and regionally.  The story reads like a reprint of a Police news release rather than a news story.

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