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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wellington Report - Traffic policing 

Since reading a few posts on this site about the police tax being imposed and collected in West Auckland recently, I've been looking out for a police presence in Wellington City. My first report:

Saturday 10:40am
I was driving around Wellington's Basin Reserve. More than being the most beautiful cricket ground in the world, the Basin is also the coolest three lane mega-roundabout in the world for those who enjoy driving.
Recent rain and being Saturday morning made for busy mayhem. As I came to stop at the southbound lights I was in the 'outside' lane, being the one on the inside line around the roundabout. Beside me, the pavement, and just ahead on the pavement, aha, a cop.

She was picking out cars to be stopped by her colleagues just around the bend, presumably for warrant and rego checks. Because she was positioned opposite the Mt Vic tunnel exit I assumed she was also looking out for red light runners, or, at the very least, that if she saw one she would have the car pulled over.

Well guess what happened? My light goes green, I'm off. Suddenly I'm slowing again as a car shoots through the red light and swoops onto the road in front of me. It also swoops onto the road smack bang in front of the cop, who is facing our direction and would certainly see both the other car come through late and my car slow suddenly. What a gift of a nab I'm thinking. He's toast! The car continues past the cop and I'm keeping an eye on her to see that she calls it in. I'm also lowering my window to give her a little thumbs up 'cause I cannot stand red light runners.

Well, guess what happened next? Here's a clue: gross ineptitude. Yup, nothing happened. As I cruised up to and past the cop I made eye contact with her and kept it for about two seconds.
I'm sure my face was easily read in that time. There was the questioning look, then the confused look, which was followed by the angry incomprehension look, which gave way beautifully (I am proud to say) to a look of disgust as I gesticulated with my hand an empty handed wave. Her look only moved from one of idleness to one of annoyance.

Alert to dangers are our cops. Ever open to an opportunity to advance the cause of traffic safety, they protect road users from the dangerous few who drive dangerously and threaten our safety.
Well, I at least thought that it was an easy nab.

And my police car experience on my way home. Police car turns across the face of me from the opposite direction down a side street in the pitch dark without indicating. Just swung right in there.

And they wonder why they don't get respect like they should get. And yes, police should deserve respect but quite frankly do themselves no favours in acquiring any.
Reminds me of another asshole-cop story...
I was driving down Onslow Road, one of Wellington's many steep, hillside-hugging roads that connect the suburbs above with the city proper below. I am very familiar and confident with this road's many ducks, twists and turns. Being night-time I could only see the headlights of a car that pulled out behind me from a side street and, other than registering that it too seemed to be confidently-driven, paid it no mind.

A few twists later I noticed the car behind me take a bend very badly, probably blindly following my tight line through the 'S' bend rather than navigating their own way through. Immediately after this the vehicle revealed its true nature - the red and blue lights came on. I pulled into the next side street, curious as to what I had done wrong (having been sitting on 50kph).

The cop doesn't even make it up to my open window. He slams his car door, strides up to about rear-wheel level, close enough to see that my window is down and he has my attention. He shouts "Bloody slow down you idiot!" at me. He then turns on his heel, stomps back to his car and is gone seconds later.

I was left speechless. I was a victim of road-rage from a fucking police officer! He did not check any details of me or my car, he was embarrassed by his inept driving and wanted to take it out on me. He performed no part of his duties but he used his tools of trade to make a personal point and to abuse me. What a little cockthucker.

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