25 Jan 2017

Kaimai luge rider would take charges 'on the chin'

7:56 pm on 25 January 2017

Police are following up with a Tauranga teenager filmed carting down the Kaimai Ranges.

Travis Scott, 18, posted a video online showing him traversing down the dangerous stretch of road on State Highway 29.

It has been viewed thousands of times, with some people reacting positively online. Others said it was dangerous and put people at risk as he crossed the centre line and appeared to hold up traffic.

Mr Scott said he had been dared by friends to do it after they got bored of going down hills near the Minden Lookout. He felt safe on the way down, he said.

"It was all good, eh. I'm a pretty competent driver - I wasn't worried at all. The traffic was covered behind me so I just stayed in my lane when I had to.

The video showed him crossing a double centre line but he maintained it was safe.

"I could just see there were no cars in front of me."

Some people online have commented about the danger of the ride and the risk imposed on other road users.

"It wasn't that bad, eh. Some people might see it as dangerous, I just saw it as a bit of fun," he said.

"I'd be pretty gutted if [the police] got involved, to be honest, because I reckon it was just a bit of harmless fun. But you know I'm pretty ready to take it on the chin if they want to charge me with something."

Police said it was not illegal to use the luge-like vehicle on the road but to do so was "unwise".

"While luges are allowed to be used on the road, Police strongly advise people against doing so as there is a significant risk of serious injury," a spokesperson said in a statement to RNZ.

They said riders had to obey road rules like any other road users.

Offences of careless or inconsiderate driving could apply, meaning driving must suit the weather, road hazards, surface and what others were doing.

They could also face charges if careless or inconsiderate driving led to death or injury.

The spokesperson said police in Tauranga would be making further inquiries with the person filmed in the incident.