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Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond, of Dunedin, in particular hit out at the myriad "poor excuses" from speeding drivers, which included sneezing and running late for a belly-button piercing appointment.
It comes as New Zealand’s official holiday road toll period, which started on Christmas Eve, ended yesterday morning with a total of 17 deaths.
Those included 40-year-old Dunedin man Brent Cleghorn, who died after his car and a truck collided on State Highway1, at Waihola, on Christmas Day.
Snr Sgt Bond said it was disappointing how many motorists had continued to speed even as police increased their presence over the final two days of the holiday period.
"Feedback from police staff was that everywhere they looked, if motorists weren’t speeding, then they weren’t wearing their seatbelt, or [were] distracted by their cellphone," he said.
The highest speeds observed were 81kmh in a 50kmh zone, and 132kmh on Dunedin’s Northern Motorway, he said.
The majority of motorists ticketed were Dunedin residents returning from holidays, or travelling locally.
Among the frustrations for police was stopping a 47-year-old man for speeding and finding all five children (aged 5 to 15 years) in the vehicle were unrestrained.
A woman stopped in Mosgiel told police she was running late to get her belly button re-pierced as her other ring had fallen out, Snr Sgt Bond said.
Another woman driver, who was stopped in Maheno after she was caught driving at 87kmh in a 70kmh zone, said she sneezed and put her foot on the accelerator.
A 59-year-old man caught travelling at 132kmh on the Northern Motorway on Monday was breath-tested after admitting to drinking spirits at lunchtime.
He recorded a breath-alcohol level of 493mcg, but elected a blood sample. Police were awaiting that result.
Police targeted drivers on the Southern Motorway on Monday and handed out 13 speeding tickets in an hour, he said.
Police focused on Palmerston on Tuesday at lunchtime, and issued nine tickets in 45 minutes, Snr Sgt Bond said.
Nationally, one of five children injured in a road crash in Matamata last month has died.
Police said in a statement the 13-year-old girl died in Waikato Hospital yesterday.
Four other children, aged 10 to 13, received serious injuries.
Assistant Commissioner Bruce O’Brien said many of the deaths on the country’s roads over the holidays were avoidable.
This year’s 17 deaths compared with 11 deaths last year and was the highest holiday period road toll since 2016-17.