‘What an id­iot’

Blind pass­ing shock on deadly week­end

Waikato Times - - Front Page - Ruby Nyika [email protected]

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a driver filmed blindly over­tak­ing cars on a ru­ral Waikato road in a piece of driv­ing a top cop called ‘‘ap­palling.’’

A video clip filmed on State High­way 23 in Raglan, sent to

Stuff, shows a grey car pass­ing cars on the high­way, into the path of an on­com­ing motorbike and van.

The car is shown mov­ing back into the left lane, in time to avoid a col­li­sion with the van or motorbike.

Waikato Road Polic­ing Man­ager Jeff Penno said po­lice have started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent.

‘‘Clearly, this is an ap­palling piece of driv­ing.

‘‘Peo­ple like that have no re­spect for the com­mu­nity they live in or for the peo­ple around them.’’

The in­ci­dent comes af­ter a string of crashes left four peo­ple dead in as many days in the Waikato.

Raglan man Jon, who filmed the clip, can be heard ex­claim­ing ‘‘what an id­iot,’’ but he said the video didn’t cap­ture the worst of that driver’s ac­tions.

‘‘They came fly­ing up be­hind me in Raglan and then was just tail­gat­ing me, go­ing on the other side of the road, over­took me on a blind cor­ner.

‘‘I had to slam on my brakes and move over so he could get in, oth­er­wise he prob­a­bly would have hit the car com­ing the other way.’’

Af­ter that, Jon – who de­clined to give his last name – asked his daugh­ter to film the driver who con­tin­ued over­tak­ing peo­ple.

A motorbike had to swerve and brake to avoid col­lid­ing with the driver, Jon said.

He in­tends to make a for­mal com­plaint at the po­lice station.

‘‘I was con­sid­er­ing it then I got up on Sun­day morn­ing and found out some­one had lost their life on that road only a cou­ple of [kilo­me­tres] from where I took that video.’’

A driver died at the scene af­ter a car plum­meted down a bank on SH23 shortly be­fore 2am on Sun­day.

Two pas­sen­gers were taken to Waikato Hos­pi­tal in crit­i­cal con­di­tion and in­quiries are un­der­way.

The cause of the crash, which oc­curred hours af­ter the footage was taken and does not in­volve any of the same ve­hi­cles, is un­known.

State High­way 23 – the main high­way be­tween Raglan and Hamil­ton – sees too much reck­less driv­ing, Jon said.

‘‘You see it all the time, ev­ery day.

‘‘Peo­ple are in a hurry, they don’t know the roads. ‘‘Es­pe­cially on the week­ends. ‘‘The lo­cals out here are by and large pretty good driv­ers. They know the road.’’

A few weeks ago, he saw a ute over­take about three ve­hi­cles around blind cor­ners at pace.

The ute took the cor­ners so fast, they ended up on the verge on the right side of the road.

‘‘That was prob­a­bly the worst driv­ing I have seen in 37 years of driv­ing.’’

Penno said State High­way 23 be­tween Raglan and Hamil­ton was one of the top 10 pri­or­ity roads in the re­gion for his team.

‘‘It’s the na­ture of the road, there’s an el­e­ment of risk to it. It’s a slow piece of state high­way and peo­ple need to drive to the con­di­tions, not use the speed limit as a tar­get.’’

If peo­ple were driv­ing and an­other car was tail­gat­ing them, they should pull over to the side to let the car pass.

Dur­ing the sum­mer busy sea­son driv­ers needed to be well rested and aware of mul­ti­ple haz­ards on the road, he said.

The need to rush was not worth dy­ing for, Penno said.

He had a mes­sage for the driver of the ve­hi­cle caught on film: ‘‘I sug­gest they come knock­ing be­fore we do’’.

‘‘Clearly, this is an ap­palling piece of driv­ing’’.

Waikato Road Polic­ing Man­ager Jeff Penno

A video clip filmed on State High­way 23 in Raglan, sent to Stuff, shows a car pass­ing on the wrong side of the high­way, into the path of an on­com­ing motorbike and van.

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