Why were they driving? 12-year-old and 14-year-old drivers injured when cars collide

News from Waikato Police
A crash in Te Kowhai Road on Monday left two underage drivers requiring hospital treatment. Police had been called by an upset member of the public before the crash, which happened about 12.30pm.

The caller was concerned because the driver of a blue Ford Falcon who had nearly hit her couldn’t see over the steering wheel.

“Then, a short time later this vehicle collided head-on with a Nissan Bluebird coming out of a driveway,” said District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Marcus Lynam. “Both cars were extensively damaged and the 12-year-old girl driving the Ford suffered minor internal injuries while her 14-year-old sister driving the Ford suffered a fractured wrist.”

Both girls were taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance while Police worked out what the two girls were doing behind the wheels of the two cars.

“It appears the younger girl has taken the Ford car for a drive and when her older sister became concerned about where she was, the 14-year-old jumped into the Nissan to go in search of her. The two cars subsequently collided at the entrance to the driveway.

“We are fortunate that no one was seriously injured but the poor member of the public who had already rung 111 concerned about the 12-year-old’s driving was distraught when she saw what happened.”

Mr Lynam said with the Waikato’s 2012 road toll of 45 being the highest in the country Police could not and will not take such matters lightly and he urged other motorists and vehicle owners to take road safety seriously as well.

“Last January six people died in five fatal crashes on Waikato roads and making our District’s roads safe is not just the Police’s job but the responsibility of the whole community.

“The reason we have graduated driver licences is because young people simply don’t have the cognitive skills or ability to react to situations that can arise on our roads at any time. For this reason we ask that parents re-evaluate their children’s access to vehicles and ask that they discuss the risks with them, its all about preventing incidents such as Monday’s from happening in the first place.”

Mr Lynam said it was too early to say what, if any, charges the two girls may face but Police would be consulting with Youth Aid in terms of a suitable outcome.

 

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