Street win­dow wash­ing dan­ger­ous and il­le­gal

Whangarei Report - - OPINION - By Dr Shane Reti, Whanga¯ rei MP

The weather is get­ting warmer which means more peo­ple are get­ting out. But among those groups I have no­ticed em­brac­ing the sun­shine are the in­ter­sec­tion win­dow wash­ers.

De­spite all the dif­fer­ent cases of why they shouldn’t be on the roads, my great­est con­cern here is safety. You might re­call last year the tragic death of a 16-yearold boy when he was hit by a car while win­dow wash­ing at a busy Auck­land in­ter­sec­tion. His death was a somber re­minder of the dan­gers of this ac­tiv­ity.

Busy in­ter­sec­tions are high­risk en­vi­ron­ments and I wouldn’t want to see any­one in Whanga¯ rei in­jured or hurt.

In Au­gust last year a law was passed to clas­sify win­dow wash­ing as a traf­fic of­fence. If you are found un­law­fully wash­ing car win­dows, you could be fined $150.

When the leg­is­la­tion was passed ban­ning win­dow wash­ers there was an im­me­di­ate re­duc­tion, and this is still the case with much fewer wash­ers to­day than pre­vi­ously.

I asked the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice how many win­dow washer in­fringe­ments had been served in Whanga¯rei in the past year. He replied there had been 217 in­fringe­ments from 11 in­di­vid­u­als. This is an av­er­age of nearly 20 in­fringe­ments per washer.

Win­dow wash­ing is not only dan­ger­ous, but it’s also un­law­ful. Com­bined, these two rea­sons pro­vide a se­ri­ous case for why we need to end the ac­tiv­ity.

I sup­port a mul­ti­a­gency ap­proach where the po­lice re­spon­si­bly mon­i­tor the ac­tiv­ity, with the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment be­ing used as an av­enue to as­sist these young peo­ple into safe and pro­duc­tive em­ploy­ment.

If you are con­cerned for the safety of a car win­dow washer, please call the Whanga¯ rei Po­lice non-ur­gent num­ber on (09) 430-4500.

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