Five licences seized during driving blitz

Murray Hewitson
Murray Hewitson
South Otago drivers with excess demerit points were targeted in a police operation last weekend.

Acting Sergeant Murray Hewitson, of Balclutha, said five drivers had their licences confiscated during Operation Big Picture.

Police had a list of about 20 drivers who had accumulated demerit points from "accident-enhancing offences", and served five of them at the weekend.

Icy road conditions around South Otago led to a spate of car accidents and police urged motorists to take more care.

Acting Sgt Hewitson said between Thursday and Sunday, there were four car accidents from Clinton to the Manuka Gorge where the drivers had hit patches of ice and lost control of their cars.

Two cars in Clinton slid off the road and into ditches, with no injuries to the occupants.

One driver travelling through the Manuka Gorge clipped a car travelling in the opposite direction when she hit ice, again with no injuries, while a male driver and two passengers were taken to Dunedin Hospital with minor injuries after their car hit ice and crashed in the Manuka Gorge.

Acting Sgt Hewitson reminded drivers to plan their trips, leave earlier and drive to the conditions.

A Kaitangata man is facing charges of cultivating cannabis after police seized 18 plants, some dry material and growing equipment on Saturday.

Constable Chris Wakelin said police attending an address on a driving-related matter noticed a strong smell of cannabis.

Hydroponic growing equipment used in the cultivation was also recovered. he said.

The man will appear in the Balclutha District Court on July 26.

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