Police vehicle swerving back and forth on Auckland motorway goes viral on TikTok

The Auckland motorist captured a police vehicle seemingly veering back and forth across three lanes of a motorway.
The Auckland motorist captured a police vehicle seemingly veering back and forth across three lanes of a motorway. Photo credit: Emilio Tuala / TikTok / Screengrabs

Footage of a police vehicle swerving back and forth across three lanes of an Auckland motorway has gone viral on the video platform TikTok, the clip amassing more than 60,600 views since it was uploaded on Friday.

The Auckland motorist who shared the clip was understandably confused when the cop car began veering repeatedly in front of him. He shared the footage with the text "this virus is getting even the best of us" to his TikTok account on Friday, captioning the clip: "The rona real bro!! #randomthings #rona #cray #whattheheck #heapsgood #nzpolice."

The video, which has garnered more than 2280 likes and 150 comments since it was uploaded, had viewers confused as to what the officers were accomplishing with the seemingly erratic driving.

Others rushed to correct the user, referring to the driving tactic as a "rolling block", used to slow traffic and warn motorists of an upcoming incident.

The man who filmed the police vehicle said he found it "funny" to assume the officers were swerving out of boredom amid the alert level 4 lockdown.

"All these people not seeing the humour in the video and taking it seriously lol chill guys," he wrote in the comments.

"Social distancing... even in traffic," one viewer joked.

A police spokesperson confirmed that if motorists see police vehicles veering back and forth across motorways during lockdown, the officers are not acting out of boredom - it is an operational tool.

In order to slow traffic on motorways or warn motorists of an upcoming incident, police will use the 'rolling block' tactic. The move is not uncommon and ensures hazards are clearly safely, without putting officers or other road users at risk.

The rolling block in question was in response to an incident in which two 20-litre buckets came off the back of a vehicle driving on the dual-motorway Mangere Bridge, or the Manukau Harbour Crossing, in south Auckland.

The spokesperson confirmed police received multiple 111 calls in relation to the incident, which occurred shortly before 5pm on Friday. 

"The buckets were rolling around in two lanes of the motorway, meaning some vehicles needed to swerve out of the way to avoid the hazard," the spokesperson said.

"One attending police unit put their lights on and swerved across lanes to slow traffic - a not uncommon manoeuvre - so another unit can go ahead to clear the hazard without being put at risk by vehicles travelling at 100kph.

"The buckets were swiftly removed from the road.

"Police would like to remind motorists to ensure their load on their trailers or back of their vehicles is secure before driving on the roads."