Stay safe on the roads this Easter

Stay safe on the roads this Easter


Police in the Central District are urging all motorists travelling over the coming Easter weekend to please drive with care.

The official Easter weekend period begins at 4pm on Thursday, 21 April and ends at 6am on Tuesday, 26 April.

Additional police patrols, including the Highway Patrol and Traffic Alcohol Group will be out in force over this period covering the major highways within the District.

The Central District will be operating as part of the national Police Operation focusing on risks and holiday driving over Easter called Operation Crossroads.

Last year nationally across the country there were nine fatal crashes resulting in 12 deaths during the Easter weekend. This number included one fatal crash in the Central District on the Desert Road where two people lost their lives.

"We don't want a repeat of last year's tragedies so our staff will be highly visible over this period,” says Central District Road Policing Manager Inspector Neil Wynne. "There will be additional patrols working throughout the District over this long weekend able to deal with those drivers who are offending.”

"Police will continue to take a hard-line on drivers exceeding the speed limit and once again the tolerance over the official holiday period will be reduced. That means any driver detected exceeding the 4km/h tolerance will be stopped and enforcement action will be taken. If you break the law you can expect to get caught."
Staff will be conducting mobile and stationary patrols and every driver stopped will be breath tested.

"This year Easter falls in the middle of the school holidays and Easter Monday is also Anzac Day so the roads could be even busier than normal," says Insp Wynne.

As well as dealing speed and alcohol related offences staff will also be monitoring the behaviour of drivers around passing lanes and intersections and will have a focus on slow drivers who may be impeding traffic flow and causing other drivers to lose patience and take dangerous risks.

All drivers and occupants of vehicles must ensure they wear their seatbelts and other vehicle restraints; there will be a zero tolerance around those who choose not to wear seat belts or ensure children are restrained in a vehicle.

“Again a big concern during this time is the issue of driver fatigue and distraction, and we ask all drivers to ensure they plan their journeys well and allow time for possible delays and take frequent breaks," says Insp Wynne.

To assist with this there will be a driver reviver site set up on SH1 at Ohakea on Easter Monday, which offers drivers the chance to stop and take a break.

Another major factor is the unknown weather and road conditions with the possible effects this can have on the roads. All drivers are encouraged to drive to the conditions and adjust their driving to any changes during their trip.

“We want to ensure all journeys are safe journeys over this period and remind all drivers and passengers in vehicles that they all have a part to play in road safety to ensure we all have a happy and safe Easter.”

The key road safety messages are:

• Prepare your vehicle for any travelling - make sure it is roadworthy
• Allow plenty of time to get to your destination - we would rather you get there early than not at all
• Keep to the speed limits
• Don't drink and drive
• Don't drive tired - take plenty of breaks
• Buckle up
• Don't use mobile phones whilst driving

Media enquiries should be referred to District Communications Manager Kim Perks on 027 234 8256.