17 Jun 2009

Another officer charged over highway U-turn

9:58 am on 17 June 2009

A police officer has been charged with careless driving after his vehicle collided with another while performing a U-turn.

The incident occurred on State Highway 6 at Atawhai near Nelson at the beginning of June. The officer was operating his radar unit and the crash happened as he was attempting to pursue a speeding motorist. He will appear in Nelson District Court on 3 July.

The incident follows the case of a sergeant who was ordered to pay $60,000 to two motorcyclists who crashed into his patrol car in 2007 as he was making a U-turn in the Buller Gorge.

The motorcyclists were seriously hurt. The officer, who subsequently retired, was found guilty by a jury in March of dangerous driving causing injury.

Police in the Tasman district said on Tuesday they have no issues with highway patrol driver training. Inspector Hugh Flower says officers are carefully trained in making U-turns before a pursuit.