Mu­si­cian has a mes­sage for driv­ers

South Waikato News - - Motoring -

‘‘I was sad to learn about the num­ber of young peo­ple who are putting their own lives and the lives of oth­ers at risk for a cheap thrill.’’

Po­lice have teamed up with lo­cal hip hop artist King Kapisi in hopes of curb­ing the in­creas­ing trend of young driv­ers flee­ing when asked to stop, par­tic­u­larly in Auck­land.

Kapisi, who won a pres­ti­gious Sil­ver Scroll Award in 1999, has just re­leased the sin­gle ‘Hear Me Now’, to en­cour­age young driv­ers to stop for po­lice when re­quested, in­stead of spark­ing dan­ger­ous chases.

Kapisi, whose real name is Bill Urale, be­came aware of this emerg­ing is­sue through fam­ily who work in po­lice.

‘‘I was sad to learn about the num­ber of young peo­ple who are putting their own lives and the lives of oth­ers at risk for a cheap thrill.’’

‘‘We want peo­ple to re­alise the buzz they think they might get from speed­ing and try­ing to get away from the po­lice is just not worth the risk – there’s bet­ter ways to have fun,’’ he said.

Po­lice, along with Auck­land Trans­port, hope peo­ple will lis­ten and take the mes­sage on board.

Un­safe driv­ing in­creases the risk of crashes as well as the pos­si­bil­ity of in­jury or death – ap­prox­i­mately 16 per cent of flee­ing driver in­ci­dents in­volve a crash.

‘‘There are a group of driv­ers, mainly young males, who are in­creas­ingly fail­ing to stop for po­lice when re­quested or sig­nalled to do so, who then en­gage in un­safe driv­ing in their at­tempts to evade po­lice’’ said Su­per­in­ten­dent Steve Gre­ally, na­tional road polic­ing man­ager.

‘‘Po­lice do not want to see any­one die need­lessly on our roads.’’

The song’s video – which fea­tures stylised, hip hop dancers, fol­lows the story of young boys speed­ing from the cops.

Po­lice said the im­pact of this in­creas­ing trend of flee­ing driv­ers and sub­se­quent crashes is hard on ev­ery­one.

‘‘When peo­ple die on our roads their fam­i­lies and friends are af­fected for­ever, and it is gen­er­ally po­lice of­fi­cers who have to let the vic­tim’s loved ones know.’’

‘‘These are ex­tremely sad mo­ments that our of­fi­cers never for­get,’’ Gre­ally said.

Kiwi mu­si­cian King Kapisi has teamed up with New Zealand Po­lice to hel stop young driv­ers from flee­ing. King Kapisi

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