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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22809
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Yesterday the police were pulling over motorbikes only, in

Customer Question

Yesterday the police were pulling over motorbikes only, in dunedin.
They also were taking photographs of licenses. Is this legal. We're they scanning and if so what for?
Of the five by me none recorded tickets.
It was not in a "bikie " formation. Just on the way home from work.
How do we deal with this?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

The police can ask for certain basic imformation such as sighting a copy of a licence. There is no law restricting them taking a photo of the licence although they cannot keep copies unless this is for an investigation or for a prosecution. They have obligations under privacy principles about holding such information. They can also ask people to stop and ask the questions about current licence WOF and registration of the motorbike. So while this may appear instrusive, they are permitted to do this.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Not happy really. Would be good to know laws or acts and especially more info about keeping copies and how one goes about ensuring copies are not kept.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.
I can help with citations, although I will post these latertomorrow. Is that Ok for now
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That would be awesome thank you
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

The main section is in the Land Transport Act which says at section 114

114 Power to require driver to stop and give name and address, etc

(1)

An enforcement officer who is in uniform, or wearing a distinctive cap, hat, or helmet, with a badge of authority affixed to it, may signal or request the driver of a vehicle to stop the vehicle as soon as is practicable.

(2)

An enforcement officer in a vehicle following another vehicle may, by displaying flashing blue, or blue and red, lights or sounding a siren, require the driver of the other vehicle to stop.

(2A)

Subject to subsections (4) and (5), the driver of a vehicle that is stopped by an enforcement officer under this Act must remain stopped for as long as is reasonably necessary for the enforcement officer to complete the exercise of any powers conferred, or duties imposed, on an enforcement officer by this Act.

(3)

An enforcement officer may require the driver of a vehicle that is stopped under this Act to—

(a)

remain stopped for as long as is reasonably necessary for an enforcement officer to obtain the particulars referred to in paragraph (b), or to complete the exercise of any other power conferred on an enforcement officer by this Act; and

(b)

on demand by an enforcement officer,—

(i)

give his or her full name, full address, date of birth, occupation, and telephone number, or such of those particulars as the enforcement officer may specify; and

(ii)

state whether or not he or she is the owner of the vehicle; and

(iii)

if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, give the name and address of the owner or such particulars within the driver’s knowledge as may lead to the identification of the owner.

(4)

The driver of a vehicle that is stopped under subsection (2) is not obliged to remain stopped if the vehicle with flashing lights and siren does not itself stop in the near vicinity of the place where the driver has stopped.

(5)

An enforcement officer may require a driver to remain stopped on a road for as long as is reasonably necessary to enable the officer to establish the identity of the driver, but not for longer than 15 minutes if the requirement to remain stopped is made under this subsection only.

(6)

An enforcement officer may arrest a person without warrant if the officer has good cause to suspect the person of having—

(a)

failed to comply with this section or a signal or request or requirement under this section; or

(b)

given false or misleading information under this section.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

The act does not specifically say that they can take a photograph of the drivers licence, but they can take reasonable steps to record evidence and this would be permissible.

They must be careful in gathering evidence however because no government agency, including the police, can keep records indefinitely and must have policies about dealing with any such records. So if they have taken a copy of your license, you are entitled to ask them what they intend doing with a copy, and when they will dispose of it.

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