Michael Massie, 20, has been sentenced at Christchurch District Court for taking police on a 700km chase across the South Island.

Whakatu Drive speeds ‘unsurvivable’

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A seven day survey of Whakatu Drive motorists shows an “alarming” rate of speeding drivers with the average speed clocking in at 113kmh.

Police received information from NZTA vehicle counts that showed speeds detected over a seven day period of 4000 vehicles on Whakatu Drive.

The highest speed detected during that period was 198kmh.

Police have been concerned about the speeds drivers are reaching on the stretch of highway from some time and have information about speeds being reached more than double the legal limit.

One motorist clocked at 170kmh received a nine month disqualification when they appeared in the Nelson District Court recently.

Nelson Bays Road Policing Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews said the evidence gathered showed there were a significant number of people putting themselves and other road users at risk every day on Whakatu Drive.

“The speeds we are aware of would mean a crash would most likely be unsurvivable. People who drive at excessive speed on a public road need to be stopped and held to account for their actions before they take the life of an innocent member of the public,” he said.

Police will be ensuring their presence is highly visible on Whakatu Drive in coming weeks in an effort to drive speeds down and prevent injury or death.

Senior Sergeant Andrews said members of the public could also report dangerous driving by calling *555 at the time.