Wellington police give illegal drivers a chance to 'do the right thing'

Cropped view of young businesswoman's hands pressing car horn
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Wellington police say they're not charging all young drivers who don't have a licence, instead opting to find "alternative resolutions".

Some are being referred to community panels or are being supported through the licencing process, rather than being given an infringement notice.

Police say they only waive tickets in special circumstances, and when they think they can find a more effective solution - giving one example of a young driver who had dyslexia.

"He successfully passed his test and could not hide his excitement when [the constable] rang to congratulate him," Wellington police said in a statement.

A Wairarapa man was caught without a licence on his way to a new job, so the officer "decided to give him the opportunity to get his licence and show up to the station with proof".

"Three days later he arrived at the station having successfully gained his licence and secured an apprenticeship at his new job."

The district's road policing manager Jan Craig says an infringement notice is not the only option to achieve road safety goals.

"It is not about throwing the book at drivers - we want to influence positive change and only issue infringements when absolutely necessary.

"When officers interact with people at the roadside they decide what action will have the most influence on a driver's behaviour.

"Sometimes people just need a chance to step up to be supported to do the right thing."