The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Police carried out a joint operation to get unsafe and illegal vehicles off Rotorua’s roads on Friday night.
Operation Earache involved members of Rotorua Police and NZTA enforcement officers. Police pulled over approximately 30 suspect vehicles from central Rotorua streets. NZTA enforcement officers inspected 11 vehicles, with 10 of them being identified as non-compliant, including unapproved modifications and unlicensed vehicles.
Five cars were ‘green stickered’, meaning they could be driven directly home or to a place of repair along a pre-determined route and at a set speed. Another five cars found to be unsafe, ‘pink stickered’ and ordered off the road immediately.
NZTA Regional Manager of Access and Use David Pearks says boy racers should take note these operations will continue.
“It’s part of our role to ensure vehicles on the road are safe and legal. While it is not illegal to modify your car, the law says any changes you make must not put you or others at increased risk when you're on the road. We’ll continue to target illegally modified or otherwise unsafe cars until everyone gets the message – vehicle safety requirements and licensing are non-negotiable.”
Mr Pearks said the driver of one car inspected as part of the operation performed a ‘wheelie’ as he drove off. Police pulled the vehicle over, impounded the car for 28 days and charged the driver with sustained loss of traction.
The Team Leader for Traffic for Rotorua Police, Senior Sergeant Denton Grimes, says Police will continue to proactively police boy racer driver behaviour.
"We have a zero tolerance for unruly boy racer behaviour in Rotorua. Their behaviour and unsafe cars put themselves, their passengers and more importantly, members of the public at risk. In addition, it takes police away from other jobs and areas where we are needed and this has a further impact on the community.
"Having said that, many of the drivers who were out on Friday night do deserve some credit. Apart from the one arrest, there was no other significant trouble and there were no drink drivers processed as part of the operation."
Safe cars are part of the government’s Safer Journeys/Safe System approach. The four pillars of the system are; safe users, safe vehicles, safe speeds, and safe roads and roadsides.