THE NEW ZEALAND Police Force has asked the New Zealand Transport Agency to explore options for issuing fines to motorists who run of fuel on Auckland's freeways.
Citing stranded vehicles, blocked lanes and their impact on traffic congestion, Inspector Dave Walker said drivers running out of fuel on stretches of road with no emergency lane are putting other motorists at risk.
Police are seeking approval of a law similar to the NZ$250 fine for walking on a city freeway. The Transport Agency is to investigate the feasibility of a bylaw which would make it an offence to run out of fuel anywhere on Auckland's 72.7km freeway network.
The Inspector said police have noticed significant growth in the number of people running out of fuel since prices have increased, with over 148 stranded motorists assisted by police in a three-week period.
"We are on call 24 hours a day, we will attend these incidents and if we can prove a person was driving on an empty tank, they will face a heavy penalty," Inspector Walker said.
The Transport Agency has made clear that no law will be passed without feedback from local authorities, emergency services, freight groups and the NZ Automobile Association.