26 Dec 2008

Airborne police to monitor Waikato traffic

6:05 pm on 26 December 2008

The police in the Waikato hoped to start using aircraft on Boxing Day to catch badly behaving drivers.

Poor weather delayed the planned Christmas Eve launch, involving light planes flying over Waikato, Bay of Plenty and central and eastern districts at a cost of $250 an hour.

The aircraft will have civilian pilots, but a uniformed police officer will be on board, relaying information via radio about vehicles to ground patrols.

Sergeant Bruce Lumsden from Waikato Police says bad weather in Waikato had prevented an earlier take-off.

He says the cost is minimal compared with a serious motor crash that costs ACC about $56,000, and caring for a paraplegic that can cost $9.6 million.

Sergeant Lumsden says motorists will not be warned that they are being viewed from the air.