Safety concerns bring stronger action against illegal driving on beaches
Those caught driving illegally on Kāpiti beaches are likely to face fines in an effort to keep these areas safe for all users.
This measure follows a significant number of complaints made to the Council and Police that there are too many people driving vehicles on our beaches where they shouldn’t.
Senior Sergeant Chanel Chapman of the Kāpiti police says the stronger enforcement is about preventing incidents where someone could be injured or killed.
“It’s not safe to have people driving on the beach where there are lots of other users around.”
Chair of the Waitohu Stream and Dune Care Group Sue McIntosh says members of the group are strongly against vehicles on the beach because they are “highly detrimental to safety and to the coastal environment”.
“This is an increasing problem and hopefully tougher action will help stop this kind of behaviour.”
The biggest area of concern is the stretch of beach from the Paraparaumu Boating Club north to Waikanae.
Council’s Environmental Standards Manager Jacquie Muir says that area is most densely populated with walkers and people playing on the sand or by the water.
“This is why our beach bylaw restricts cars driving on that part of the beach,” she says.
“The only reason vehicles should be there is to launch or retrieve boats at designated spots or if they have specific permission to park for easier access.”
The Council and Police started this summer's beach patrols (fortnightly on Saturdays) in October to educate people about beach safety and ensure they know the rules around driving in these areas.
“We are continuing these patrols again this year to get our messages across,” Ms Muir says.
“But the Police will now take a firmer stand on issuing $750 fines to people who are driving where they shouldn’t, especially repeat offenders.
“Most people do stick to the rules and we really appreciate this. Enforcement of the fine is about targeting the minority who continue to breach the bylaw, pose a risk to others and spoil the rest of the community’s enjoyment of the beach environment.”
Maps showing where you can/can’t drive on the beach and more information on beach safety is at: www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/beach-safety
Wednesday 25 January