Christchurch police believe
speed and alcohol may have caused the young driver of a
Peugeot to lose control and crash into a tree at the corner
of Fendalton Rd and Harper Ave.
The wreck was reported to police by the crew of a passing
ambulance just after 4.20am yesterday. A Corona beer box lay
beside the wreckage, but no one was found in the car or near
Police located a 17-year-old youth, believed to have been the
driver and sole occupant, several kilometres away near the
intersection of Main North Rd and Queen Elizabeth 2 Drive 90
He was taken to Christchurch Hospital with minor injuries and
to give a blood-alcohol sample.
A police spokesman said the youth was likely to face charges.
Meanwhile, police stopped drivers speeding, using cellphones,
lane-jumping and not wearing seatbelts yesterday morning in
an hour-long operation targeting traffic on busy Harper Ave.
Senior Sergeant Dean Harker said one driver was caught
travelling at 71km/h in the 50km/h zone. Four motorists were
pulled over for speeding, four for using cellphones while
driving, two for not wearing seatbelts and two for switching
The peak morning rush hour sting followed a promised police
crackdown on lane jumpers frustrating motorists in Harper
Impatient drivers have been attempting to beat the traffic
backing up around Hagley Park by driving along the
right-turning lanes and cutting in just before the Fendalton
Rd traffic lights.
In a 40 minute period on a weekday morning last month The
Star counted 31 drivers cutting in from the double right-hand
lanes for Fendalton Rd to the single left-hand lane for Deans
Senior Sergeant Harker said drivers risked a $150 fine for
switching lanes at the last minute.
"We'll be going back for another look next week."
- By Cullen Smith of