Four people have had their vehicles seized by police after burnout incidents in the Ōtaki area.
Each of the four had their vehicle impounded for 28 days and charged for driving with “a sustained loss of traction”.
At one incident at Jim Winiata Way on December 18, the new road past the newly opened Mirek Smisek kilns was scattered with tyre marks (see photo). Several people were watching the burnouts as they occurred.
The noise and ensuing smoke disturbed residents, one of whom noted the car registration and reported the incident to police. The owner was traced to a Waikanae residence and the vehicle was impounded.
On November 30, another vehicle doing burnouts on Old State Highway 1 north of Waikanae was filmed by a member of the public. With the vehicle registration clearly visible, police were able to trace it to the Ōtaki owner.
The owner was found to be in Kirk Street, Ōtaki. Police executed a search warrant on January 2 at the address and impounded the vehicle for 28 days.
In the early evening on December 29, a car was observed laying rubber in Kirk Street, Ōtaki. Police attended after a member of the public reported the incident and identified the registration number. The owner also lost the car for 28 days.
Ōtaki police chief sergeant Phil Grimstone says his team – with the assistance of Kāpiti’s road policing staff – will continue to monitor and target burnout incidents to the south of Ōtaki, especially around the Hautere, Te Horo and Peka Peka areas. However, he says the assistance of the public has been valuable.
“We’ll keep an eye on these areas, but what really helps is when someone gives us a registration number, or films the incident,” Phil says. “If we don’t catch the offenders in the act, we can at least trace the owner and impound the vehicle.”
The process when police are not at the scene to clearly identify drivers is to aim responsibility at the owner of the vehicle. It is then up to the owner to take the blame or advise who the driver might have been.
The Justice Department is also advised in case the owner also has outstanding fines.
Meantime, Phil says local police were able to help their colleagues in Tokoroa after a vehicle was reported as driving erratically and overtaking dangerously in their area on December 31. A 31-year-old Te Horo Beach man was subsequently charged with dangerous driving. His licence was suspended for 28 days.
Nine people were processed in the Ōtaki area for drink driving during December, a number Phil says is “higher than usual for this time of year.”
One was a 41-year-old male who crashed his vehicle on Old Hautere Road on December 15 (see photo above). He registered 825 micrograms of breath alcohol, well over the limit of 250mcg. He was charged with driving with excess breath alcohol and careless driving.
Another driver, who registered 813mcg, hit the wire barrier along the middle of the road on the main road north of Ōtaki. Other drivers – including two females aged 23 and 62 – were caught with excess breath alcohol throughout the Ōtaki area. The males were aged between 20 and 48. Several were apprehended after reports of erratic driving.
One was on the expressway, another in Main Street, Ōtaki, and another in Waerenga Road.
Story and photos by excellent local newspaper Ōtaki Today.