On the beat: How a driver saved the day

The Government recently announced an initiative to reduce the Road Toll to zero, by 2050. The year to date road toll stood at 65 this week.   When you consider the emotional and other impacts on friends and family, plus attending emergency services and medical staff, the number of people affected is significant. We can all play a part in working to reduce this tragic number.

I saw an example of this last Friday.  I was working day shift when I was despatched to a Priority 1 driving complaint. Priority 1 meant there was immediate risk to safety, and it required urgent police attendance.  The report concerned a vehicle on State Highway 1, traveling north from Tirau towards Cambridge. It was weaving all over the road and crossing the centre line towards oncoming traffic at fluctuating speeds.

Conversely, it was also sometimes driving along the hard shoulder, hitting edge marker posts, a barrier and shrubbery along the way – all without stopping. A member of the public driving behind it, was understandably alarmed and called 111.  He then put on his hazard lights and tried to highlight the risk to others and deter following vehicles from increasing that risk by overtaking.  He did a superb job. His actions and the information he provided, enabled me to locate and stop the vehicle quickly and safely.

Speaking to the older gentleman driver, it became clear that he was in a confused state.  This was not drunk driving as one might have thought, but rather due to a medical event. Ambulance attended and took the driver to hospital for treatment.  I was thankful that the member of the public took action when he did. While the right thing to do, it was nevertheless quite a stressful experience for him due to his fears that a crash could occur at any time.

It is certain that the outcome could have been far worse if he hadn’t made the call to police.  Remember if you see such dangerous driving, call 111. For inconsiderate driving, call *555 (from a cell phone).

In other news, there has been an increase in graffiti around Cambridge.

Taggers usually keep to their own specific tag and will often adorn personal items with that same tag.  If you see tagging in progress call 111 or if you  have any information that may assist in apprehending the offender/s, please contact 105 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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