Police sting catches motorists out

Police sting catches motorists out

Police are carrying out stings on motorists not wearing seatbelts and using cellphones after a spike in preventable deaths.

In one hour 40 drivers were pulled over - one every 90 seconds - and issued instant fines for flouting the law.

It doesn't take long to find a law breaker at a police check point at 4pm in suburban Christchurch.

One by one the offenders were ushered down a side road and pulled over and fined.

Police say a recent spike in the number of deaths involving motorists not wearing seatbelts and talking on cellphones has led them to launch Operation Habit.

"Nationally 41 percent of people killed that have been killed just this year weren't wearing their seatbelts - that translates to 28 people," says Canterbury road policing manager Inspector Al Stewart.

The driver involved in one Christchurch crash last month died when he lost control of his car and went through the windscreen - he wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

Others were lucky - four women walked away from this crash on Queen's Birthday weekend in North Canterbury when their van collided with a truck, rolled and hit a power pole.

However, the message to belt up isn't getting through.

"It's a constant thing, it doesn't change. We can do this every day of the week," says Acting Sergeant Mark Webb of Christchurch Police.

The drivers and the passengers that got nabbed admit it's an expensive lesson.

"I was just saying to the policeman, on the radio not two minutes ago they were saying police were targeting no seatbelts, and a police man walks out on the road and gets me," says one offender.

He won't be the last - the police operation is set to run until August 7.