Roundabout way to catch fleeing driver

Waikato Police believe a roading engineer may be owed a pat on the back after roundabouts in Taupiri contributed to the apprehension of two separate fleeing drivers last Friday (24 July.)

Just before lunch a driver of a stolen Ford Explorer, fleeing police, crashed into a power pole on the round-about on Great South Rd and was arrested.

District Road Policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said he was arrested without injury or further incident but for some of the officers it was ‘a bit of deja-vu’.

“…about 6.30am [that day] one of our officers was passed on the Waikato Expressway by a motorcycle heading north at about 170km/h. …the officer radioed colleagues further north and commenced to follow the rider who was disappearing into the distance.”

Approaching the Taupiri intersection of SH1 and SH1B, the speeding motorist ‘failed in his attempt to negotiate a roundabout’ – “The officer describes the motorbike going airborne one way and the rider in mid-air heading in another direction.”

The rider of the motorbike, which had no warrant of fitness, was shaken but uninjured in the crash. He did not have a licence, and now faces dangerous speed and failing to stop charges, she said.

Mrs Grace said when roading engineers consider plans for roads a variety of factors are considered but she doubted helping to slow down fleeing drivers was one of them.

“Given there was no injury from either crash I can accept there is an element of humour to what has occurred. What I can’t accept however, is the risk these fleeing drivers are placing my staff and innocent members of the public in.”

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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