22 Oct 2014

Man gives new meaning to stick shift

8:22 pm on 22 October 2014

A man who has no use of his legs has been blasted by the police in Manukau after allegedly being caught using a shortened walking stick to operate a car.

Sergeant Mark Fleming said the 32-year-old Manurewa man was licensed to operate a vehicle with hand-held controls.

However, the vehicle he was driving was not modified for his disability, and he was using the stick to operate the brake and accelerator.

"He's, by his own admission, been driving in that manner for the last seven years," Mr Fleming said.

"I'm sure that most of the time he would be needing to look down and check where the peddles are. But extremely dangerous - driving in that manner on public roads using a stick to accelerate and brake with, it beggars belief."

It was impossible to safely control a vehicle with a stick, and the man showed blatant disregard for the safety of his two passengers and other road users, he said.

"He was provided with a car which had the modifications but he subsequently crashed that car and it was written off.

"He's now obtained another car, which he's not bothered to go and get modified, so now he's just taken to driving a car around with a walking stick," Mr Fleming said.

The man will appear in the Manukau District Court on dangerous driving charges.