Police warn drivers after deadly incidents

Police were busy breath-testing motorists in Kaikorai Valley Rd last night. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Police were busy breath-testing motorists in Kaikorai Valley Rd last night. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
It has been said time and time again that speed kills.

That point was tragically brought home in Dunedin last weekend when teenager Grason Veitch (18) was killed in a crash on Ravensbourne Rd.

His death, and a recent spike in worrying driving behaviour, has sparked a strong warning from police.

Senior Sergeant Nik Leigh said in one instance, a car was clocked travelling at 169km in a 50kmh zone centre city street.

Speed was believed to have been a factor in Mr Veitch’s crash.

There had also been instances of street racing in the city recently, something Snr Sgt Leigh described as "really dangerous behaviour".

Racing was not a factor in last weekend’s crash, he said.

"I suspect there’s a social media aspect to it. It can be quite random as well, where one car will shape up next to another, if they’ve all sort of got that sort of mindset at the start of the night, and all of a sudden they’re flooring it."

Part of the problem was people just did not think something bad would happen to them.

"I’ve been past the most recent crash scene in Ravensbourne a couple of times, I’ve seen the friends of the deceased there. They all looked shellshocked, they looked like they couldn’t believe that it was one of their mates that had died, and anyone driving like that could find themselves in that position."

It was also disappointing to see mourners gathering to do burnouts in Mosgiel on Thursday afternoon, the day of Mr Veitch’s funeral, he said.

Police attended and monitored the scene.

"For people to still be doing that, that’s the kind of behaviour that contributed towards the death in the first place.

"We don’t want another tragedy. We’ve all been young, we’ve all been bulletproof. It’s just a couple of seconds of misjudgement and someone’s dead."

Snr Sgt Leigh was speaking from a checkpoint targeting speed and alcohol in Kaikorai Valley Rd last night.

It was part of a series of checkpoints and operations aimed at catching impaired drivers, people speeding, and people running red lights.

"We’ve had a number of fatalities in our area in the past two or three months, speed has been a factor in most of them. Impairment also, drink or drugs, in others."

People not wearing seatbelts were also a concern.

"There have been several crashes recently where the people wearing seatbelts survived, and the people that weren’t wearing them didn’t."

The biggest message Snr Sgt Leigh wanted to get across was that police would be watching.

"We want people to know we’ll be testing people at any time.

"We will be out there."

daisy.hudson@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

I am glad to read the police comment.

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