Highway Closure

I have just finished reading a newspaper report about a serious accident on the Port Chalmers/Dunedin highway. What was so upsetting about this crash, was the behaviour of the Police, The police over recent years have been getting bolder and bolder the about liberties they take regarding the time they require to reconstruct and record any serious accident scene. I have noticed that whenever there has been an accident bad enough to involve the police. It has now reached the stage that they now treat the public with absolute contempt. Whenever they have found it necessary to report on an accident, for them to carry out their duties, the public’s welfare doesn’t seem to be part of the equation, What made me sit up and take notice was that this time the, Police went a step too far by closing the Port highway, for five and a half hours. Most of this time they were just waiting for someone to arrive and record the accident.

 

In this world there are smart cops and there are dumb cops. However this time I think there could even have been some political animals. It’s hard not to believe that this time, it was not an attempt to embarrass the government by dragging this affair out as long as possible. After all it’s election year, and if that was the reason and the prime motive behind this act of stupidity it’s unforgivable, or perhaps it was a very dumb attempt to force the authorities into paying them overtime rates for being on standby.

 

Do they not teach the Police these days how to think out of the square?. What with videos, cameras and road paint, any accident scene could have been preserved. But to shut down completely, a highway for half a day, a stupid and unforgivable action by whoever was in charge. No matter how you look at it, regardless of any excuse the police can come up with, it is a complete nonsense, and an abuse of their powers. Sure, it was a serious accident, and we are entitled to,ask, ‘Why so long? It seems the answer too is without precedent. Would you believe that a City the size of Dunedin didn’t have a police officer skilled enough and rostered on to survey any accident scene.

 

However It seems after questions were asked, the Police replies were so astounding I’m prepared to bet that there will be many more, and someone is going to get a reprimand over this incident. This was a gross error of judgement

 

Their excuse is equally hard to believe, that a responsible governmental department could behaved in such a stupid manner. It seems they didn’t have an officer available or on duty to record and map the accident. To solve this problem they found it necessary to have someone come down from Alexandra (by road) to carry out this task. While this farce was being enacted, the traffic was patiently waiting, twiddling their thumbs and thinking dark thoughts. I imagine especially after they found out the correct reason for the five delay. Goodness me. they could have flown someone down from Auckland, or for that matter across from Sydney..

 

OK, they (The Police) are saving money by not roistering someone on that duty competent enough to carry out this task. Did it not also come into their calculations, that the queue of heavy trucks and people going about their normal business and not earning and cooling their heels for half a day? Did they even give a toss about what it was costing everybody else, regardless of the Police overtime which I imagine was their worry? I’m sure the amount of money lost by the gridlocked vehicles would be a thousand times higher than the police paltry savings

 

Of course, once you got into the queue you would be stuck and no way to return and take advantage of the alternative routes to get to Port Chalmers, or Dunedin, if you are coming the other way. Did anyone think to post a detour notice? You could travel down to Normanby suburb in Dunedin, turn off at Brown House, and then drop down into Sawyers Bay. Or alternatively take the main North Road out of Dunedin, turn off when over the top of Mount Cargill, heading for Port Chalmers. Both of these roads are what we considered normal, in the good old days, but now they would be definitely second class, OK for cars, but not what a thirty ton truck and trailer would find acceptable

 

Should you wish to read he Otago Daily Times article I have listed the file address below

 

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/161500/closure-road-defended?page=0%2C1

 

After reading the ODT and the Police’s pathetic remarks in defence of their actions they still seem to think that their actions were justified. Someone with a little more clout than I have will have to give them the message

 

I would like to think that the Minister of Police would stumble onto this letter.

 

 

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