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A motorist lost control of his vehicle as he tried to pick up the piece of paper on Masefield Drive, Rolleston, about 3.20pm.
He crossed the centre and collided with an oncoming vehicle, said Sergeant Phil Bayne.
Sergeant Bayne said the driver will be issued with a $150 fine for failing to stay in his lane.
He said distracted drivers are a common occurrence in the district.
“It is very common. Distracted drivers are one of our main focuses,” he said.
It was a reminder that motorists need to keep their eyes on the road and stay focused, Sergeant Bayne said.