Warriors join forces to reward responsible drivers

By Aroha Mane

Last night the New Zealand Police, Auckland Transport and the Vodafone Warriors joined forces for an alcohol prevention operation. More than three thousand vehicles were stopped and those driving responsibly received an interesting surprise.

It was a busy night out for the Vodafone Warriors players.

Halfback Shaun Johnson was at the frontline with police rewarding sober drivers, “Hey thank you for driving sober tonight man. Here you go, here are some tickets to our next home game, come and support the boys.”

On the beat with South Auckland police in a special drink driving initiative.

Youth and Community Services Manager Steve Smith said, “Alcohol certainly plays its part in a number of serious crash incident that the police attend every year. So tonight is all about promoting responsible driving? It's absolutely fantastic to be out here with the Vodafone Warriors.”

Around 75 people have lost their lives on Auckland roads and 516 seriously injured in alcohol related crasheds in the last five years.

Constable Laura Mariu who is also the Captain of the NZ Warriors Woman’s team told Te Kāea, “I think the fact that they're out here is really encourage sober driving and just reducing the people going out on a night out and not being responsible.”

Checkpoints were set up around Auckland including here in Manukau and Mt Wellington, Warriors players handing out game tickets for drivers that were sober.

Winger Ken Maumalo was in it to support his community, “There's a lot of Polynesian going around drink driving. So, it's good to get amongst them the community and just spread the love we have for them.”

Hooker Nathaniel Roache says, “It's kinda awesome to see all the people that are doing good things in the community. There we definitely some characters who were really happy when we gave them some tickets. Some of the responses when you asked them to count to ten, some of them couldn't even count to ten which is pretty funny.”

It’s hoped the initiative encourages drivers to stay sober and safe on the roads.