'Incredibly disappointing': Bad behaviour on roads over long weekend

The main highway south of Dunedin was closed for about 10 hours yesterday after a crash left a car "hanging off" the Taieri River bridge.

It follows a spate of crashes, drink-driving and dangerous driving incidents over the Labour Weekend.

Senior Sergeant Nick Leigh, of Dunedin, said although it was encouraging to have the majority of motorists travelling safely over the long weekend, it was "incredibly disappointing" to see some people risk their lives and those of other road users through excessive speed, or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

"A number of drivers were found to be impaired, including several two or three times above the legal limit."

He said road safety was everyone’s responsibility.

"It’s not about getting to your destination quickly, but rather getting there safely," Snr Sgt Leigh advised motorists.

Police were called to about 13 driving-related incidents between Friday and Monday — there was no end to that yesterday morning.

A single vehicle crashed on the Taieri River bridge on State Highway 1, near Henley, about 4.35am.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) said two crews responded and found the car "hanging off" the bridge. The driver received minor injuries.

The road was reopened about 2.20pm after a crane removed the vehicle and a bridge assessment was completed.

Later, two separate crashes happened on the Southern Motorway, near Barnes Dr.

A two-car crash, at 7.50am, blocked the road while emergency services responded to the "nose to tail" crash on the northbound lane, a Fenz spokesman said.

No-one was injured and there was minor damage to the cars.

A second crash happened when a vehicle fleeing police left the road, knocked down a power pole and ended up in a bush at the side of the road, about 12pm.

On Friday afternoon, police attended five incidents involving car crashes or dangerous driving including a car that rolled about 15 times in Whareakeake Rd, at 4pm.

Acting Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond said a 50-year-old man and 30-year-old man were in the car and the driver would appear in the Dunedin District Court for careless driving causing injury.

The court date was unknown.

A further three crashes and three drink-driving incidents followed on Saturday, including a crash in District Rd, in Green Island, about 2.30pm.

Snr Sgt Bond said a 39-year-old man and 24-year-old woman who were involved in the crash got into another vehicle, swapped drivers and drove away from the scene.

Both recorded over 900mcg when stopped by police

Earlier, a vehicle was seen crossing the centre line on State Highway 87, near Lee Stream, and a 54-year-old man recorded a breath-alcohol level of 1363mcg — about five times the limit.

Despite being suspended from driving and being driven home by police, a short time later the man accessed another vehicle to drive, he said.

The man will appear in the Dunedin District Court tomorrow, facing two drink-driving charges and one for driving while suspended.

There was a further drink-driving incident, in Law St, on Sunday and car crash, in Ravenswood Rd, on Monday.



Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter